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endowed. It can survey the whole creation, ascend above it, and contemplate its glorious Author. How a'ert and vigorous is its will and fancy! and how Divine are all its affections, when fanctisied by the Holy Spirit, and directed to their proper objects! Consider what an inestimable price was paid for its redemption, a price no less than the precious blood of the Son of God. And must not that be of insinite value, which God has surnished with such noble faculties? fo that, in the language of the Pfalmist, he has made it but a little lower than the angels, and crowned it with glory and honour; and for the fake of which his eternal Son died upon the cross, that it might be recovered from misery and guilt? Is then the foul a being of such dignity and value, and shall we be unconcerned about it. If a treasure were committed to our care, for which, in case of losing it, we should be accountable, how anxious would we be to preserve it from danger! Thy foul, O man, is a treasure of insinitely greater value than the whole world; it is committed to thy care; and if it is lost, thou art lost for ever. With what anxiety then ought we to guard over the interests and the happiness of our immortal spirits!
2. Consider that as the foul is a being of such dig-nity and worth, its falvation must insinitely concern tos. In proportion to the native dignity and value of any being, its happiness is of greater or less importance. Creatures of a lower rank, and more consined desires, are neither capable nor designed for such high enjoyments, as those of nobler natures and of more enlarged faculties. Now, since it evidently appears that the foul is a being fo divine in its original, and fo excellent in its powers, its happiness must be of great, nay, of insinite moment. But this, alas, however certain, is one of those many interesting truths, which make little or no impression on mankind. How few are there who have that inward sense, and serious conviction of it, which its importance demands I Nay, if we may jildge by their conduct, the bulk of men around us have never bestowed on it a serious thought. Amazing indisference! Is it a matter of no consequence whether we be faved or not? Are happiness and misery such trifling subjects, that they ari not worth the reflection of an hour? Be not deceived. Salvation is a thing which claims the most serious attention. It is no less than a deliverance from the wrath of God, and being put in possession of that happiness which is large as the wishes, and lasting a* the days of an immortal spirit. And is not this a matter worthy of 'our highest concern? We employ thought and care about the things of the present lise; how to amass riches, or gratify desire: and ought not we much rather to employ them on objects of a more exalted nature, on objects that respect the falvation of-out fouls, and everlasting bliss? How then shall we answer it to God, and to our own consciences, if, while we are caresul and cumbered about many things, we neglect the one thing needful; if, while we are folicitous what we shall eat, what we shall drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed, it is seldom or never the question with us, What shall we do to be faved? We shall conclude this argument, by recommendingto your serious attention, that wise and weighty admonition of our Lord, "What is a man prosited, "though he should gain the whole world, and lose his "own foul? or what shall a man give in exchange for "his foul-(a)?"
3. Consider, that while we continue unconcerned and thoughtless, we expose ourselves to the most threatening danger. It is a certain fact, and the least reslection may be sufsicient to convince us, that we have broken the laws of our Creator, trampled on his facred authority, and thus justly incurred his wrath and displeasure. This is what the facred writers expressly assert in a variety of passages; and indeed, to be coh2 E rinced (*) Math, Xti. if.
vinccd of it, we need only look into our own hearts, or take a flight review of our pail lives. Have we not all, from our earliest years, from the very sirst openings of reafon, a violent aversion to every thing spiritually good, and as strong a propensity to folly and vice? Have we not indulged this sinsul bias in innumerable instances? Have we not omitted those duties which God expressly requires, and committed those sins which he as plainly forbids? And must Jiot such a conduct-be displeasing to him? Yes; as sure as there is a God he is offended at us, his justice is incensed against us, and every moment we are exposed to his wrath: and can we, in such a condition, be happy and secure? Do you know, or have you ever considered what this wrath means? If it was only the wrath of a man like yourselves, though of the most formidable prince on the face of the earth, comparatively speaking, it would claim but little notice; for they, at most, can only kill the body, but are not able to hurt the foul : But it is the wrath of an insinite God, whose power is almighty, and whose justice is inflexible. It is the sury and sierceness of his wrath to which you are exposed; and how dreadful must that be? Into what an inconceiveable depth of misery must they who suffer it be plunged? For who knows the power of God's anger, and what a searsul thing it is to fall into His hands? What meanest thou, then, thoughtless and secure sinner? Awake, and fly, by sincere repentance, from the wrath to come, before it overtake you, and there be no escaping.
Lastly, Consider, that however secure and insensible we may be at present, the time will at last come, when conscience will awake and bring our ways to remembrance.
While we enjoy prosperity and health; while we are engaged in the business, and surrounded with the gaieties of lise ; we may indeed contrive to fly from
serious serious thought, and imagine sickness and death at a distance. But what is this but self-delusion^? The young and the healthy are as liable to diseases and death, as the aged and insirm; nay, how do we knowbut we may die to-morrow, or that this very night our fouls may be required of us? For what is our lite? It is but a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Yc careless and unconcerned sinners, who prodigally throw away your precious time, and, as it were, dance upost the brink of destruction: Do you consider that you must foon die; and that, for any thing you know, some fatal disease may this daybegin its attack? And if once you were laid upon the bed of affliction, and see the approach of the inexorable tyrant ; conscience will probably awake and bring you to reflection. Thus , we sind that the prodigal fon came to-himself when he was reduced to the last extremity, and ready to perish with hunger. Death has fomething in it that sills the mind with awe. But if it has no essect of that kind upon sinners; if, as it is to be seared is tod often the case, they die as they have lived, thoughtless and unconcerned; How miserable beyond imagination will they be? In the ether world, they shalt endeavour to silence their awakened consciences iit vain; and, however much against their inclination, shall be forced to reflect with horror, on the c?aelessness and guilt by which they were undone. To this purpose, when God speaks, by the proptiet Jeremiah, of the extravagant solly of thoughtless sinners ;. he adds, ui a very awful rrianner, " In the latter day "ye shall consider it perfectly (b)." But, abs! it will then be too late ; for beyond the grave, consideration can only aggravate their misery, and increase their remorse. How much wiser then would it be tt* consider, while yet consideration may prevent on;luiji? With what seriousness ought we to apply our 2 E 2 nuads . (i) Jcr. xxiii. aa.
minds to the concerns of our fouls, and lay to heart the thirds that belong to our eternal peace, before they be nid from our eyes?
And now, need I use any additional arguments to persuade you to serious consideration? If those I have mentioned have no efsect upon you; if you are still insensible of the worth of your precious fouls; if you hold falvation and eternal happiness in no estimation,'and nt the sime time be content-to dwell with devouring sire and everlasting burnings : If these motives prevail not with you, what other can? O that the Spirit of God, whose prerogative it is to awaken the conscience, would carry them home with power upon your hearts, and effectually engage you to compliance with your duty!
IV. We shall now conclude with a sew advices to such as are in fome measure awakened, and made to cry out with the apostle in the text, " Lord, What "wilt thou have me to do?"
Is there then in this assembly any awakened and convinced sinner; any who, apprised of his folly, and sensible of his misery, is desirous to fall at the foot of the Redeemer's cross, and sincerely resolved to give unlimited obedience to him for the suture? To such, I shall now briefly address myself.
1. Entertain and cherish your present convictions; for these are happy influences of the Spirit, which, if duly attended to, may be improved to the eternal advantage of your fouls. Beware therefore of neglecting them; of putting them off to another seafon; or endeavouring to get rid of them, by flying to the business or amusements of lise. Remember that by doing fo, you run the greatest danger. The stifling of conviction grieves the Spirit of God; has a fatal tendency to harden the conscience; and may justly provoke him ;to strive no longer with you; Is, therefore, you have any wish to be faved, cherish such serious