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all be subdued by the power of God, or they can never live in heaven. If the work of God is begun in their hearts, it is only the first dawnings of eternal light, which will "shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day." So the promise is.

2. To their long and inveterate habits of sin. It may be said of them, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye, who are accustomed to do evil, learn to do well."

3. To the strong and numerous foes that oppose his march. The Christian, it seems, is destined to be watched and waylaid in every furlong of his route. If finally he can sing, "The desert is all trodden over; not another foe to waylay, not another serpent to bite, or stony morass to cross," with this song he hopes to finish his pilgrimage.

4. A great amount of labor will be requisite to push him forward in his heavenly pilgrimage.

5. There will await him many other dangers, of which he can have yet no conception. He has yet to "wrestle with principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, with spiritual wickedness in high places," and will need yet the agility of an angel, to ward off his danger and consummate the victory.

II. But "where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?" All the difficulties, and more yet, that obstruct the way of the Christian heavenward, are surely before the man who has not commenced his route thither.

1. The man who is not a Christian has yet to enter upon the way. He has yet to combat the very preliminaries of the journey; and he has yet to suppose they may be even greater than those in the way of the Christian.

2. He may have more yet corruptions. He may have taken a more wayward course, and may have engendered iniquities. His habits of sin may have placed him further from heaven than the believer, and he may have yet many furlongs to go before he reaches the spot where the Christian began his route.

3. But his iniquities must all be uprooted. He has been sowing the very ground he has trodden over with thorns and briars; and there, with his own hand, he must pluck up and plant, instead of them, the rose of Sharon.

4. He has more foes, in addition to those planted in the way of the Christian. With these he must wrestle and strive more; with these he must make a great many efforts, before he will reach the spot from whence the Christian has passed on towards heaven. 42


5. He must do more labor than if he had set out earlier.

6. The same, and more yet dangers await him than await the Christian.


1. Would I have the sinner despair, lie down and die? Will not heaven be worth all the efforts he has yet to make, and to avoid hell? Would it not be worth while that he should go through again and again, if it must be, all the pangs of the new birth?

I have heard of three men that were cast upon an island, having no way to live but to wrestle perpetually all night. It was a terrible atmosphere, and the bay was freezing over, and they must stay and wrestle the livelong night, or life must go out by frost. They continued to struggle the next day for life, until the ice bore them, and they went on shore and lived. Now was it not best that they should do all this and live, rather than die?

2. O, then, how anxious should sinners be to commence the great work of their salvation!

3. How anxious, too, should the church be that sinners might live!

No. XIV.


And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

I HAVE thought for some time it might be peculiarly interesting, if ministers would be in the habit of drawing out the characters of Old Testament saints, through the times and scenes of their conversion, fixing on the time if it might be, when they gave up all for Christ, and submitted themselves to the rule and direction of Heaven. I know there might be much said that would be wild and erratic, as in the case of a late writer, who represented David as impenitent up to the time of his illicit intercourse with the wife of Uriah, throwing very great confusion into the history of "that man after God's own heart." I have supposed a careful examination would enable them to do so with a great amount of accuracy.

Thus the character of the Christian in one generation might be drawn out to the gaze and review of another generation, and thus, as generation after generation should come home to heaven, the believers of one dispensation might gaze upon the full orbed glory of the Christians of another generation, until they should all come home to "the same far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," and thus appear in one united company before the Lamb, where they join to "ascribe to him power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." I know if we should attempt to fix with precision the exact time when a new heart, and a right spirit were given to them, we might be liable ⚫ to many gross blunders. But still we might elicit by this many interesting thoughts, and be able better to compare the genius and the spirit of the different ages and dispensations, and thus urge on the whole Sacramental host to holy discipline and heavenly soldiership, till we might come where we should see the King in his beauty.

Here we would plant the feet of the Patriarch, and inquire whether this is or is not the very spot where he was born again by the Spirit of God, and where commenced that wondrous train of dispensations that ended in his final equipment for glory.

For the following reasons we are of this opinion :

1. It seems to have been the time he first met with God, and first made a vow to God.

2. This seems to have been a time of peculiar affliction and of peculiar cause to review his life.

3. In the vision of the night he had a very clear demonstration of the Divine care over him in the angels that ascended and descended the ladder, and especially in the exhibition of the Lord of Angels that appeared at the top of the ladder.

4. The fact that then for the first time was awakened against him the inveterate wrath of his brother Esau, which continued to the day that he met him at Penuel, where he wrestled with God. It seems to have been the moment, for the first time, that he came under the wing of the everlasting covenant, "which is well ordered in all things and sure."

5. This seems to have been the first time that he awoke up to the duty of paying his vows.

6. This seems to have been the moment when there was appointed a guard of angels over him to keep him in the way that he went.

7. This seems to have been the time when there commenced

between him and God a train of Divine communications, in which God "led him by his counsel, and gave evidence that he would afterward receive him to glory."

8. It seems to have been the time when he was taken under the Divine escort for heaven, to which he seems to have very tenderly referred, when he said to Pharaoh, "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers, in the days of their pilgrimage."

From this time forward he seems to have acted as one acquainted with God, and seems at all times to care supremely for his honor. This seems to have been the moment when “his sin had found him out," and when he was driven from his kindred and friends, and constrained to pass through those trials, which, through the sanctifying influence of the Spirit, were calculated to ripen him for glory.


1. It was remarked by one of the old fathers, that he that will observe the wonderful events of Divine providence, shall have wonderful events of Divine providence to observe.

2. To him who will so converse about God in his history, as to make God great, God will so manage in his providence as to make him great.

Thus what he gives us we gather. Thus "they that honor God, he will honor."

3. How rich and instructive is it to be conversant with the ancient believers, with the kings and princes of antiquity, the patriarchs, and prophets, and elders of a former Church. It is like walking among the ruins of some rich temple, and marking the stately columns and ornaments of an ancient city, and observing the splendid contour of what excited the wonder, and drew forth the admiration of past generations. Thus would the subject I propose make us ever familiar, and hold us conversant with objects the most truly sublime.

No. XV.

MATTHEW XXII. 36, 37, 38.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, this is the first and great commandment.

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I. To love the Lord our God with all our heart is the first and great commandment, because in him are found those excellences which deserve our highest esteem. They are 'moral beauties. They render God lovely to himself, and all his creatures lovely to one another. Thus there is let down, as with a golden chain, one grand affection, that binds, or would bind together the whole human family. But depravity has sundered that chain-has snapped that ligature.

II. Because in him is found nothing to allay, or neutralize those holy affections.

III. Because our highest blessedness consists in putting forth the affections required in this commandment.

IV. Because, when the heart returns supreme affection towards its Maker, then it is restored from the most direful alienation that ever happened under the government of God. The alienation that occurred in heaven when there was revolt among the angels, did not effect more broadly the sum of human blessedness, did not sunder a tie more sacred.

V. Because the example of all holy beings in every world that God has built, conspires to enforce this law. There would be no being but God to complain, and he will not, if we give him our supreme affection, if we love him while we live, if we love him when we die, if we love him when we are dead.


1. The subject shows us the grand defect in the mora ity of all unregenerate men. They have no supreme object of affection, or at least God is not that object, it is some creature, some vanity of vanities, which cannot afford them any real or permanent enjoy


2. We see why it is impossible for unregenerate men to live in heaven.

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