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live and zealously maintain his cause, or, if necessary, cheerfully to suffer and die in its defence.
These are the pious sentiments which the grace of the gospel should inspire, and these are the duties which it should incite us to perform. It should fire us with gratitude, and fill us with confidence; it should inspire us with mutual charity, and prompt us to universal and everlasting obedience.
And blessed indeed, are all those upon whose souls this divine grace produces such effects! Who would not congratulate them upon the happiness of their state? They are the friends of God; "the excellent of the earth."—" There is none like unto you, "O people! saved by the Lord. Truly "the lines have fallen to you in pleasant "places; you have a goodly heritage ;"for all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life or
death, or things present, or things to come, "all are yours; and ye are Christ's, and "Christ is God's."-O praise Him then, for his wondrous benefits; make melody with his angels who excel in strength; swell with
them the choral song of gratitude, and be glad and rejoice in the house of your pilgrimage.
But, perhaps, there are some serious, well disposed persons, with the state of whose souls, the voice of joy does not accord; the address of congratulation is not suited to them, and with any exhortation to gladness, they tell us, that in their circumstances, it is impossibe to comply. The grace published in the gospel, they know, is indeed abundant; but they dwell upon the criminal abuse which they have already. made of it; they dwell upon the impious and unnatural returns which they have so often rendered to the Author of it,-and this abundant grace, instead of filling them with joyful hope, only pierces their hearts with keenner sorrow. They go mourning as one who mourneth for an only child; they are in bitterness as he who is in bitterness for his first born, and they turn aside, and refuse to be comforted.
Broken hearted, and disconsolate men! ye do well to be sorrowful, for godly sorrow worketh repentance,; but, O! why do ye
sorrow as they who have no hope? Your iniquites may indeed be great and numberless; but the Lord is merciful and gracious, and will abundantly pardon. Because men were sinners, he sent his Son to die, and though you be the chief of sinners, he is both able and willing" to save you to the "uttermost."-" The blood of Jesus Christ "cleanseth from all sin, and by him all that "believe are freely justified from all things." Come then to God, through Christ, and he will in no wise cast you out. Come unto him, weary and heavy laden, and, from his grace, you shall find rest unto your souls. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall "be as white as snow; though they be red "like crimson, they shall be as wool. "Awake, and sing then ye that dwell in "dust" and let the tongue of the dumb sing forth the Almighty's praise! "Sing, "O heavens! and be joyful, O earth! and "break forth into singing, O mountains! "for the Lord hath comforted his people, " and will have mercy upon his afflicted."
Thus then, do we congratulate the good, and thus can we console the penitent. We congratulate the good, because they have
improved the of God so wisely, and we console the penitent, because now with broken and contrite hearts, they lament that they have improved it so ill. But what shall we say to those who never think of improving it at all?-who, to this hour possess none of the feelings which it is intended to excite, nay, who scornfully reject all the precious blessings which it offers to bestow.-Perverse and obdurately wicked men! surely you know not what you are doing. Surely you know not the aggravated guilt which you are, at present, incurring, and the awful punishment to which,
you repent not, you shall hereafter be doomed. You are despising the greatest salvation that can be offered you; you are grieving the Holy Spirit who strives with you; you are denying the Lord who bought you, slighting all his labours of love, treading under foot his precious blood, and putting him to open shame. And for all this be assured, presumptuous sinners! that God will bring you into judgment. Now is the season of his grace, and as yet he is slow to anger, and of great mercy towards you. But this season of grace will expire, the great day of his wrath will come, and
then shall he who hath so long waited to be gracious, be revealed in flaming fire, to take vengeance upon you, and all who obey not the gospel. With Judas, and the sons of perdition, you shall be driven from his presence and "turned into hell." There, like them, you shall be tortured with remorse; like them you shall be convulsed with agony, and like them, you shall wish that you "had never been born."-Knowing these terrors of the Lord, we persuade men. We, as ambassadors from Christ, pray them in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God. God himself beseeches them, by us; therefore to day, may they hear his voice, and harden not their hearts! May they turn from the evil of their ways, come into his gracious presence, like returning prodigals, cast themselves at his feet, and thus pour forth their penitent hearts before him! "Father in heaven! we have hei"nously sinned against thee in times past, "but strengthen us by thy grace, that we Work in us both to
do so no more. may
"will and to do thy good pleasure. Of our"selves, we are, indeed, weak and insuffi"cient; but, O Father! we will depend up"on thee; we will go on in thy strength,