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lation from Heaven. And, in the holy scriptures, we have many exhortations to self-examination. I fhall only mention that of the apostle Paul, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. 'Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own felves: know ye not your own selves, how that Jefus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?' Nay, after all our pains to exainine ourselves, there ought to remain such a sufpicion of our own treachery, as should make us intreat, humbly and earnestly, the more impartial trial of a heart searching God, Psal. xix. 12. “Who cau un• derfaod his errors ? Cleanfe thou me from secret • faults. Pfal. cxxxix. 23, 24. Search' me, O God! . and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.'
From what hath been said, let me beseech all; but especially young perfons, to beware of the begin nings of fin. It may be said of sin, in general, as So Jomon says of Atrife, the beginning of it is like the • letting out of water. Beware of all that difcourse which tends to give you flight thoughts of any fin. Sometimes men consider fins as fpall fins, and therefore tolerable. Many parents have thought it wrong to check their children for the follies and levities of youth, and have found; to their melancholy experience, that when follies had been fuffered to ripen in to crimes, they had taken too deep hold to be rooted up. Many make light of sin by comparison. How common is the pretence of the drunkards: We are harming nobody; we are not speaking ill of our neighbours; we are not oppressing the poor. In the mean
Eime, they are foon led to cursing and blafphemy; and, perhaps, by their riotous living, they are unable to pay their just debts, rob the induftriqus poor of their right, and, for the indulgence of a beastly appetite, bring their own offspring to beggary and ruin. Such is the behaviour of many of your harmless people; men of social friendly dispositions, that, if you believe them, would not wrong their neighbour of a farthing to their knowledge; and yet it would be happy for any man to fall into the hands of highway robbers rather than into their fociety. How short-fighted men are! they not only forget to look forward to the other world, but look not even to any distance in this. From time to time we are made fools by sin, which never aks more of us than the present compliance; yet, if this is granted, never leaves us till our state is irrecoverable. What rea fon have all to be afraid of that deplorable hardnes of heart which is the consequence of the continued indulgence of fin. Let us never consider any sin by itself, but together with that ugly train which it draws behind it ; and, theo, though our false hearts might plead for the indulgence of a single luft, they may not be fo willing to submit to that deluge of yice which follows fast at its heels.
4. In the last place, I fhall clofe the fubject, by ado dressing an exhortation to those of my hearers, who bave been long and liardened fingers, who have many habits of vice cleaving to them; who have hitherto despised the gospel, and even fat in the seat of the fcornful. No doubt, you have heard, in vain, and, perhaps, with contempt, many exhortations of this
kind before ; and, therefore, there is, humanly speaking, but little hope, that any thing I can say will have the effect. However, as our blessed and gracious Master has commanded his gospel to be preached to every creature, this Prince of the kings of the earth is able, by his Spirit accompanying the word, to lay the proudest and the boldest of his enemies prostrate at his feet; let me beseech you, in his name, to hear, that your fouls may live. Why will you longer continue at enmity with him, while he is offering you mercy ? nay, he is treating you with mercy in every instance of his kind providence, in the renewed messages of his blessed word, and in his dying agonies on the accurfed tree? Have you been long wedded to sin ? he is able to set you free; he came to destroy the works of the devil, and is able to knock off the strongest fetters, and restore liberty to the most sorrowfukcaptive. “We, then, as workers together with him, beseech you also, that ye re
ceive not the grace of God in vain. Remember, on the other hand, I beseech you, the dreadful vengeance that awaits the despisers of the gospel. It you still refuse the gracious offen if you will not fuffer his mercy to be glorified in your recovery, his holiness, power, and justice, shall be illustrated in your perdition. Time is hastening away; judgment is hastening on; no refusing to appear at that bar; no deceiving or biafling that judge; no room to efcape ; no source of consolation under that sentence. How insupportable the reflection on opportunity irrecoverably lost! And how terrible the fanction which follows upon the offer of mercy! You may
read it, Prov. i. 24,4-31. Because I have called, • and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and
no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all • my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also • will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh. When
fear cometh as de• folation, and your deftruction cometh as a whirl• wind; when distress and anguilh cometh upon you, * Theo shall they call upon me, but I will not at • fwer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not • find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did : not chuse the fear of the Lord. They would none
of my counsel; they defpised all my reproof: there• fore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, 6 and be filled with their own devices.'
I only add, if any impression is made on your minds, of the importance of eternity, suffer it to abide there. Let it have an immediate effect. Of all the deceits of Gn or Satan, pone more fatal than that of putting off convictions to a more convenient feafon. I conclude, therefore, with the words of Salomon, Ecclef. ix. 10. Whatsoever thy hand find- : • eth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no
work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”. Amen.
The believer going to God as his exceeda
PSALM xliii, 4.
Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my ex
T is of great moment to attend to the proper
mixture of reverence and love which ought to poffefs our hearts in the worship of the living God. If they arise from proper principles, they will not de. stroy or weaken, but strengthen one another. A believer can never lye too low in me dust before the most holy God; he can never be too sensible either of his distance as a creature, or his guilt and unwor. thiness as a singer: but, at the same time, he can never be too deeply penetrated with a sense of divine love, or have too strong and ardent defires after communion and fellowship with God. The truth is, the lower we are in our own sight, it doth but the more illustrate and magnify all the grace that is sewn to us in the gospel: and the more joyfully we contem