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Be not deceived; God is not mocked i for whatsoever a man foweth, that shall be also r.cap. Let God be true, but every man a liar. Thy word, O God, is true from the beginning. Hath He spoken ; and fall He not do it? Brethren, we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Chrift. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men (d).

Enquire now of the days which are gone what has been the end of all those, who in past ages have disregarded the denunciations of God. Let God be the judge between you, and those who admonish you in His

Let God by His paft dispensations be the interpreter of His own word. When our first parents listened in paradise to the enínaring question of the Tempter, Yea; bath God

said, ge fhall not eat of every tree of the garden : when, giving ear to his confident assertion, ye fall not surely die, they ventured to consider the sentence of death as a judgemenț not designed to be carried into execution: what was the consequence? They brought ruin upon themselves and upon their


(d) Gal. vi. 7. Rom. iii. 4. Pl. cxix. 160. Numb. xxiii, 19. 2 Pet. i. 16. 2 Cor. v. II.


pofterity. When Noah admonished the world that the Spirit of God would still strive with sinful man only during the period of an hundred and twenty years vouchsafed for trial and repentance: when that Preacher of Righteousness seemed unto them as one that mocked : what was the end of the unbelievers ? The deluge came at its appointed hour, and swept them to destruction. When the fons-in-law of Lot made light of the threatenings of God: what was the event ? They were overwhelmed at sun-rise by the : tempest of fire and brimstone. When Pharaoh cried, Who is the Lord, that I should obey bis voice? When he hardened his heart, and

gave no credit to the warnings of Moses.: did God forbear to fulfil his word? Plague after plague overtook the king of Egypt: till having seen his country laid waste by miracles of divine vengeance, and his own first-born, together with the first-born of all his people, cut off in a single night, he peo rished with his mighty host in the Red Sea. When the Jews in the days of Jeremiah shut their ears against his message from Jehovah, that the city of Jerusalem should be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar : did the words of the prophet prove an idle tale? The Chaldean army took the city, and burned it to the


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ground. When Nebuchadnezzar himself in the pride of his heart despised the impending judgements revealed to him by Daniel : did they fail of coming to 'pass? At the end of twelve months, a voice from heaven was heard proclaiming that the hour was come; and the thing was fulfilled upon

Nebuchadnezzar : the kingdom was taken from him, and he was driven from men, and did cat grass as oxen, and his dwelling was with the beasts of the field. When the Jews in later times' heard from the mouth of Jesus Christ that of their beloved city not one stone should be left upon another : when the Son of God seemed as one that mocked to the people whom he came to save: what was the result? The Roman armies advanced, and miserably destroyed those finners, and took away their place and nation. With all these examples before


you treat the words of God as idle tales, and hope to escape ? In the fate of these despisers do you not read your own ? Has the Omnipotent poured out upon all others the vengeance, which He has threatened against the impenitent and unbelieving; and shall He not pour it forth upon you? For your fake alone will He abrogate His word ? For your fake alone will He annul His laws established from eternity unto eternity? Deal plainly with yourselves. Search out and sift your imaginations. Afcertain what is that twig of hope to which you are clinging. Bring forth to the test of sçriptural examination the secret support, be it what it may, which buoys you up with expectations that there shall at least be a partial remission of the doom denounced against guilt. Pea and wby even of yourselves judge ye not what is right (c)? Bring it forth to a test which


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behold with more complacent eyes, the test of reason. Is it ignorance that you ascribe to the Omniscient? Do you presume that He, to whom the future is naked as the past, perceives not as yet His own purposes ? From such a delusion folly itself turns aside. It is not on such a plank that you trust to survive shipwreck. Do you then flatter yourself that He with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning, He who is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever, will suddenly exchange stedfastness for inconstancy, and abolish His fixed and promulgated decree?

decree ? You abjure this madness. “ If the destruction,” you exclaim, “ of the “ sinner be indisputable until fickleness can “ be imputed to the Most High; there re" maineth no refuge from despair.” And (e) Luke, xii. 57

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what refuge from despair remaineth to the persevering finner? Produce your hidden confolation. . Difclose the bottom of your heart. Tardy and reluctant as is the confeffion, it is at length extracted. You conceive that the Deity has decreed from the beginning to relax from His threatened judgements: that while, for the purpose of aweing men into righteousness, vengeance arrayed in fiery terrors assumes her feat in the clouds; mercy is at hand to avert the most formidable of her bolts, and to shield the offender from all but that lighter chastisement, the fear of which would have been inadequate to the prevention of tranfgressions. Compare then thy theory, thou who adventurest to theorise concerning the counfels of thy God; compare thy theory with facts. If in the denunciations of future vengeance a part only be intended for accomplishment, while ' the residue is empty air : whence is it that past menaces have been fulfilled to the uttermost? Why was the old world destroyed by the flood? Why were Sodom and Gomorrah and the incredulous fons-in-law of Lot overwhelmed? Why was Pharaoh cut off? Why did the Egyptian host perish to a man? Why was Jerusalem delivered unto Nebuchadnezzar to be uprooted from the foundations? Why was


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