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terms, to desist from a worldly and careless and unprofitable life: they affirm that such a course is incompatible with the regard which we owe to God; who claims the devoutest affection of the heart, and will not yield up his unalienable rights in favour of vain things, which cannot profit nor deliverk. Will you, then, be enamoured with that which hates God, and manifests an utter dislike to his holy government? Hear, all ye who idolize the vanities of this transitory life, how the Word of Truth stigmatizes your conduct !-"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God!”

Are you not afraid, then, to range yourselves on ' the side of the adversaries of the Lord? Will you dare to challenge His wrath, who“ is able to destroy both body and soul in hell m?”

Again; the Scripture solemnly advises you to seek a '

more substantial portion than those vain things which charm you ; and which are as earthly in their origin, as they are transient and unsatisfying in their nature. “ Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever"."

5. Are you one of those inconsiderate persons who make this world their all, and who esteemn its

li Prov. xxiii. 26. k 1 Sam. xii. 21. James iv. 4.
m Mat. x. 28.

in | John ii. 15-18.

fleeting enjoyments as the best possession that can be obtained? Are you carnal in the prevailing desires of your mind, hankering after riches, fame, pleasure, and the applause of man, whilst you neglect the honour which cometh from God only? Do you live, as the generality do, buried in the cares or carried away by the vicious pleasures of this life? If so, you have cause to tremble at the denunciations of God's anger against you. It is certain you cannot dwell eternally with Him, unless you pursue a different course :-“For, if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live:

.” Begin, then, the work of repentance, without delay. Through the assistance of Divine grace, you will attain a thorough reformation : and this necessary aid to strengthen your endeavours will be granted, if you seek it earnestly.

It is, indeed, high time “ to cast off the works of 'darkness, and to put on the armour of light”.

A worldly spirit is as destructive of real happiness, as it is inconsistent with religion. Nor can you ever make any progress in righteousness, any advancement towards heaven, so long as you “ follow the multitude to do evil.” " Wherefore, in obedience to God's command, come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty?."

* Rom. viii. 13. pib. xiii. 12. 42 Cor. vi. 17, 18.

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HELPS AND ASSISTANCES FOR THE ATTAINMENT

OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE.

LECTURE LXXI.

AN ACQUAINTANCE WITH, AND A CORDIAL BELIEF OF,

THE DOCTRINES CONTAINED IN THE OLD AND NEW
TESTAMENTS.

2 Tim, i. 13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou

hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. THERE are some things, of which we inay be safely ignorant, without any hazard or detriment to our souls. We may be destitute of an accurate knowledge of nature, and of the fixed and general laws by which the Almighty governs the universe. We may not have any correct idea of the magnitude and distance of the heavenly bodies, nor of the number of the stars. We may be incapable of understanding and explaining the mysterious connection which subsists between the body and the soul. With a thousand subjects of this kind we may not be conversant, and yet by no means endanger our everlasting welfare; for the inconvenience arising from a want of information concerning these matters is but temporary in its consequences, since it can only affect us in this imperfect state.

But ignorance of spiritual things is attended with the most lamentable effects. It is replete with danger both to soul and body. It is ruinous to our temporal and eternal happiness. We cannot die unacquainted with Christ, with redemption through his blood, with the pardon of our sins, and the renewing and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, without losing our souls, and being deprived of all the glory of heaven.

This consideration ought to make us anxious to

possess an experimental acquaintance with “God and his Son Jesus Christ, whom to know is life eternal*.” Should not, then, the knowledge of Christ by faith, as the way to celestial happiness, be our first concern? Should not every man resolve, that whatever else he forgets or neglects, he will « follow on to know the Lord ?"

St. Paul valued such an acquaintance with his Saviour above the highest natural acquisitions. “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ: yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ."

This saving acquaintance with the salvation that is in Jesus must be sought from the Scriptures, the grand fountain of Divine knowledge. With the great fundamental truths which they lay before us, you must endeavour to become more familiar every day. By reading, studying, and meditating on the Oracles of God, you will gradually acquire a knowledge of heavenly things. Through the assistance of the Holy Ghost, you will make a constant and uniform progress in Divine things : fresh light will break in upon your mind, to make your path clear, and to assist

every difficulty. And oh, how great a sum of happiness will the knowledge of God in Christ impart! It will afford you the most delightful peace and satisfaction. It will give you a joyful anticipation of future bliss : and, when this frail life is ended, it will put you in the undisturbed possession of it for ever.

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1. But be it remembered, that a hearty and sincere • Joho xvii.3. • Hos. vi. . · Phil. iii. 7-10.

belief of the doctrines which the Bible reveals, is a necessary step to the acquirement of that knowledge of Christ which bringeth salvation. Those Scriptural truths which have been treated on in the former part of the Work are indeed of the greatest moment to us all: they are a treasure of incomparable worth, which should be prized above thousands of gold and silver. God, who is the author of all good things, would not have published the Gospel to the world, had it not been especially adapted to promote its recovery from sin to righteousness, and from misery to lasting happiness : nor would the Holy Spirit have inspired men to write thesě Divine truths, if they could have been known by any other means.

For these reasons, the peculiar doctrines of our holy religion claim the most cordial and unreserved belief.

2. Further, no other religious system which has appeared can make the least pretensions to a Revelation" worthy of all acceptation.” The cruelty, obscenity, and absurdity of Heathen dogmas shew that no religion can boast of doctrines and precepts so just, holy, merciful, and good, as those which the Bible invites us to believe. Every other mode of faith, therefore, except that which the Scriptures furnish, ought to be rejected with abhorrence; because it is highly affronting to God" to set at nought his counsel," and to follow the vain theories of uninspired men.

Nor must we countenance the fashionable, but destructive error, that one creed is as good as another; and that it is no matter what opinions a man holds, if he be but sincere in maintaining them. This lax notion not only sanctions, but gives currency to the wildest fancies and the most dreadful here

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