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mediation: we meditate on what he was, what he became, what he did, what he endured, for us men and our salvation: we follow him to the heavenly places; contemplate his glory, his power, his grace, at the right hand of Gon: we remember his exceeding great and precious promises, and that blessed promise which respects this place and this hour, "I am in the midst "of you." The fire burns within us! '* It "is good for us to be here!" We feel exultation, chastened with reverence. Hope takes full possession of our souls,—for his resurrection ensures our bodies of humiliation being raised like unto his glorious body: his exaltation ensures our sitting in the heavenly places: "because he lives we shall live also." Now, let me a(k you, with what state of mind ought Christians to regard the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it possible that they who are thus affected and exercised, who enter into the spirit of the service of this day, and feel the happiness of the worshippers of the Lord, can regard the enemies of Christ, but as objects of abhorrence and detestation?
But, I have said, it is never improper to cherish and justify the sentiments of Christians. I fear it is more than possible, and a matter of supposition, that some Christians may feel this horror of infidelity feebler than it ought to be: it is possible that some may suffer it to diminish; or be placed in circumstances in which there is danger of its being diminished, and, with it, attachment to revelation, and reverence for it being diminished also. Therefore, let^ me turn your attenton to their guilt towards God and his Christ; to their influence among men; by attending to the history of providence; and to the prospects of futurity, you will perceive the detestableness of enmity and opposition to the Gospel: let it be Anathema Maranatha.
I. You cannot but abhor enmity to the Gospel, when you consider the enormity of its guilt, in relation to the Creator and Governor, and Judge of the world.
Your feelings and exercises, and joys as Christians, and as Christian worshippers, are demonstrations to you of that enormity. How have you regarded, formerly, and what
are are the affections you now feel and cherish towards, the source of being, the standard of perfection, the author of all enjoyment? does not the review of the past, the experience of the present, and the boundless and ravishing prospect of immortality, fill you with peace and joy, " a joy unspeakable and "full of glory?" And, are there men who despise the Lord, pour contempt on his work, treat the result of his councils as foolishness, the demonstrations of his presence and power, and grace, as imposture, or beneath their notice? are there men who tread on the body of the Lord, count " the blood of "the covenant" an useless effusion; and turn your theme of exultation, the subject of the anthems and adoration of angels, the brightest display of the divine glory, into ridicule? I know your sentiments of such men are those of the apostle. They are an Anathema. Let them be an Anathema.
When in the hours of self-converse and self-correction, our hearts reproach us, for the defects we perceive in our best regards towards our God and Saviour; when we lament aud condemn the coldness, infre
quency quency and interruptions of admiration, of gratitude, of devotedness: such reproofs and humiliations are equal to many arguments, and supercede all others, for abominating the total want of them, especially their very reverse, in the enemies of the Gospel of Jesus. Let them be an Anathema.
Search with diligence for whatever is perfect, is estimable, is beloved; for what imparts and secures delight. What is all this but an emanation from God, a ray of his glory? Imagine every thing that attaches you to any character: recollect the highest excellence you ever admired, and the most endearing circumstances of your respect and affection; as intimate relation, unwearied goodness, consummate wisdom, the favours of the liberal, the interest of the friend, the tender affections and offices of a parent: the warmth you feel of admiration, interest and affection, preaches to you, if I may use the expression, what you owe to your God and saviour, and the enormity and detestablenefs of enmity to the Gospel of Jesus.
2. For exciting your abhorrence against B b th* the ejsays and attacks of infidel and irreligious writers, and all who wish to undermine and destroy our faith; let me turn your attention to their influence in the world, the tendency and effects of their enmity and opposition on society.
The rejection of the Gospel is their aim and object.
Let Us suppose them successful. Must we go to them for our religious and moral system? to them, who pull down systems, and believe in unbelief! to them, who are Atheists; are Deists, mortal and immortal; are advocates for virtue and for vice, if hypocrisy, and adultery, and suicide, are called vice! they " call good evil, and evil good!" Formed by such teachers, and upon such models, what are men? No virtue or virtuous course, that is unpleasant, will be pursued: no vice, that can be safe from human punishment, will be restrained. Where are the supports of excellence of character; where are the consolations of distress?
Most unhappily, in our days, it is not necessary