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edly and awfully forewarned, of the fatal
hate me, love death.” Amen. '
GALATIANS vi. 4.'
Let every man prove his own work.
DEFORE I enter upon the subject of this
U text, it may not be improper to mention some of the reasons which have led me to it at this time *.
ift, As many, who call themselves Chrif tians, discover fo little of Christianity in their lives, that we are often at a loss to reconcile their conduct with their profeflions ; I thought it might be of use to those whą are in any degree distinguished by their religious conduct, if I could lead them into . such a fcrutiny of themselves as this text! suggests to us; or persuade them to inquire, whether their works, which are apparently good, are such as will abide the test : whether they proceed from the Spirit of God,
Preached on the cvening of a communion-fabbath.
er from the spirit of the world: whether they are animated by a “ fimplicity and
godly fincerity," or by the unhallowed principles of self-love, and the desire of recommending themselves to the esteem of men.
2dly, It is evident from Scripture, that a man may go far in the outward perfor. mance of his duty, and yet be actuated by fuch motives as afford hint greater cause of grief and of shame than of that rejoicing which is mentioned in the clause following my text. I read in the preceding verse, that it is possible for a “ man to think him“ felf to be fomething when he is nothing." I find in fact that the Laodiceans imagined themselves to be "rich, and increased with “ goods, and having need of nothing," when, in truth, they were “ wretched, and « miserable, and poor, and blind, and na“ ked.” And there are too many reasons to fufpect, that, like those, multitudes of this prefent generation are “ pure in their own “ eyes, and yet are not washed from their “ filthiness;" have a “ name that they live," while « they are dead;" and have “ the
. “ praise
“ praise of men,” while “ their hearts are 66. not right with God." . . . .
3dly, I foresee the time when thousands shall with that they had followed the Apostle's advice in my text. “ Yeč a little “ while, and he that shall come will come, " and will not tarry.”-“ The Lord him“ self shall descend from heaven with a 6. fhout, with the voice of the archangel, ** and the trump of God; to judge the « world in righteousness. In that day “ many shall say to him, Lord, Lord, did “ we not eat and drink in thy presence, “ have we not prophesied in thy name, • and in thy name done many wonderful “ works?” But when they receive that awful reply, “ Depart from me, I know " you - not whence ye are,” with what inconceivable anguish will they then cry out, Oh! that we had tried and proved those fpecious works in which we trusted. We thought them good and acceptable to God; alas! too late, we find our unhappy mistake.
The time was, when this discovery might have profited us : but now the doom is passed ; our state is fixed ; and nothing rewains for us but a fruitless remorse, and
the galling remembrance of our former floth and security.--And,
Lastly, When I considered that I was to speak to communicants, who have this day sealed either their friendship or their enmity with Christ at his own table, it determined me to address to you a pressing and earnest call to prove this part of your work in particular ; that such as have been properly employed in this holy service, may, after trial of themselves, lay hold of the comforts which belong to them ; and that others may receive such a view of their guilt and of their danger, as, by the grace of God, shall constrain them to have immediate recourse to that injured, but compashonate Saviour, whose blood, instead of crying for vengeance, pleads for mercy to the chief of finners. On all these accounts let me intreat, not only the hearing of your ears, but the attention of your minds, whilft I endeavour, through divine aid,
ift, To explain the full meaning or import of the Apostle's exhortation -----“ Let “every man prove his own work.”
2dly, To give you some directions with re