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But perhaps some of you will plead, or object the very doctrines which have been this day held up, as a reason why you do not, and ought not, to attend to the means of the gospel, and exert yourselves in the ways of religion. You will say that effectual calling and perseverance are the effect of divine influence on the heart, and the fruit of election, and therefore you need not exert yourselves, or use the means which God has commanded. Those who are really believing this, I would call upon, by way of reply, to be consistent, and never more make any exertions, or take any steps to obtain any temporal object—for the divine counsel and purpose extend to your worldly concerns, and the success of your labor, as much as to the things of religion and your souls. But you will not do this, in temporal things, for though you suppose the end made sure, you consider the means as connected with it. With respect to your crops, and your merchan dize, you do not say they will be as they are determined, let you do what you will—and so you will be perfectly idle. You therefore act an inconsistent part, and manifest that you are blind as to the things of religion. But perhaps you will say you do not believe the necessity of divine influence, or the divine determination in respect to the things of religion. You only mean to plead, upon the ground of these doctrines, that you need not exert yourselves. To such I would reply—we allow of no such inference from these doctrines as supposes means and exertions. unnecessary. It is plain from scripture that without means and exertions, none will obtain salvation. But let it be admitted, for a moment, that these doctrines are inconsistent: You say you are not dependent on the divine influence—that you have no moral inability, nor any inability—and that there are no divine decrees or purposes respecting you. Admit it : But you will acknowledge that you are sinners, and that
the gospel is offered to you. Why then do you not attend to your case, and accept the offered mercy? May God, by his almighty spirit, awaken you to a sense of your danger and sin; and carry on a work of grace in you unto the day of Jesus Christ, that you may be to the praise of his glory ! Amen.
THE LOSS OF A FAITH FUL MIWCISTER .4 SoRE AFFLICTIow;
Pastor of the First Church in Farmington ;
ACTS XX. 38.
Sorrowing most of all, for the words which he shake, that they should see his face no more.
THE scene, which is described, in the latter part of this chapter, is one of the most tender and impressive, which is any where exhibited, in the sacred history. St. Paul had spent several years in the city of Ephesus, previously to his returning thither, for the last time. By means of his labors, as an apostle, and minister of Christ, a large and flourishing church had been gathered, in that city. A part of the address to this church, which was made by Christ, in the Revelation of St. John, is in these words : “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write ; These things, saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil : and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not ; and hast found them liars : And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” When St. Paul was returning from Macedonia, to Jerusalem, a short time before he was arrested, and sent prisoner to Rome, he came to Ephesus. Having