Sidor som bilder

: you

in sin, and in the neglect of the mercy of God published in the gospel, you render your heart harder and harder, fearfully increase the sum of your guilt, and make your conversion to God, morally, more and more improbable. If you listen to the dictates of heavenly wisdom, you will now credit what God saith unto you in his Word : will at once flee for refuge to Jesus, and yield yourselves wholly up to the Lord, to be qualified by his Spirit for serving and enjoying him for ever! Then, indeed, will your stay upon the earth, whether of short or long duration, be marked by the blessed effects of Divine love upon your hearts; your light will shine before men, and commend to all around you the glorious gospel of the blessed God. But if you persist in refusing to submit yourselves unto God in the faith and obedience of the gospel, you not only consign your souls to eternal destruction, but give no reason to calculate on your ever proving trustworthy members of society. I tell you candidly, I myself could place no unhesitating confidence in any of you as members of my family, unless your temper and conduct gave scriptural evidence of your conversion to God. And I am quite prepared to hear, that such of you as have no fear of God, nor conscientious regard for his approbation, will not be many days in the colony before you yield to temptation, fall into some crime, bring more infamy upon your character, and subject yourselves to additional sufferings. All I can now do for you is, to warn you, beseech you, and you.

pray for

I solemnly repeat my warning, respecting disobedience to any lawful command of those in authority over you. Remember that DISOBEDIENCE to lawful commands is one of the greatest and most pernicious crimes of which you can be guilty. What expelled angels from heaven, and converted them iuto devils ? --DISOBEDIENCE. What separated our first parents from God, and subjected them and their offspring to the loss of holiness and happiness ?—DISOBEDIENCE. What is the cause of all the misery and death that abound in the world ?-DISOBEDIENCE. What is the cause of your present and future sufferings ?-DisOBEDIENCE. What was it that prepared hell ?—DisOBEDIENCE. And what did man's disobedience require ere man could be restored to purity and to bliss ?Nothing less than the incarnation, sufferings, and obedience even unto death of the Son of God! Can any of you, then, think lightly of disobedience ? Let the occasion of your disobedience be what it may; let the thing about which you are disobedient be as insignificant as the turning of a straw ; if the command be lawful, and you disobey that command, you are guilty of the HEINOUS TRANSGRESSION OF DISOBEDIENCE—you are chargeable with that sin which expelled the angels from heaven, and which lost a world! Study 1 Sam. xv. 22, 23.

I would also entreat you to remember what has been said to you respecting improper and dangerous associates. Avoid, as much as possible, the company of wicked men, the tendency of whose example must

ever be to destroy you. Let'them feel the benign influence of good example and of good counsel, but remain not in their society when it can be avoided. When it cannot, then recollect that you owe it to God, to them, and to yourselves, to be faithful. Be faithful to your Bible, and you will not only be kept from falling yourselves, but your conduct will call the attention of your associates to Him who can effectually save both you and them from sin and death.

The greatest snare to which you will be exposed on shore is the use of intoxicating liquors; no vice is more calculated to lead you into other vices than drunkenness; it proves the overthrow of more prisoners than any other evil habit whatever. Take heed, then, that you never permit one drop of the intoxicating and destructive poison to cross your lips, unless prescribed by a medical practitioner for disease -a circumstance which is not likely often to happen.

With reference further to your future conduct, let me hope that you will all benefit by past experience. You have already had sufficient proof of the connexion between evil-doing and suffering; you have now found out that “the way of transgressors is hard ; and that the tendency of their « perverseness “ destroy them.” † I trust you will now experience, that wisdom's “ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” | Most, if not all of you, are now able to


[ocr errors]

is to

and com


peace of Prov. xi. 3. # Prov. iii, 17.

* Prov. xiii. 55.

fort connected with well-doing, with the infamy and wretchedness which spring from evil-doing; and I beseech you to profit by the experience. Some of you have long felt the pain and remorse that are the fruits of ignorance, irregularity, and crime; why, then, should you desire to drink deeper in the cup from which you have already taken so many bitter draughts? Remember the gracious remonstrance of the God of Israel with his ungrateful and rebellious children:-"Hear, O heavens; and give ear, O earth; for the Lord hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward ? Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.' * The people for whom God had done so much, remained insensible to his goodness and mercy, turned their backs upon him, and subjected themselves to severe and repeated expressions of the Divine displeasure. And did their character improve under the chastening hand of God? Did they seek, in deep humility and contrition, the sanctified use of their multiplied afflictions ? No; they persevered in

* Isa. i. 2, 4-6.

the obstinacy of their rebellion, and called for more strokes from the rod of their Almighty and longsuffering Father, until they were smitten all


and covered from head to foot with wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores.

And have not you long abused the loving-kindness and sparing mercy of the Lord ? Have not you lamentably misimproved the repeated chastisements to which your repeated offences have subjected you, and grievously provoked the Divine displeasure ? Why should you subject yourselves to be stricken any more? Why should you be imprisoned any more? Why should you be ironed any more? Why should your flesh be lacerated by the scourge any more? Why should you subject yourselves to any more of the penalties of the law ? Have you not already tasted enough of the bitterness of transgression? Have you utterly cast off all desire for the approbation of God? Have you calculated the consequences of perseverance in rebellion against him? Oh! have you thought of the agonies which you are laying up in store for yourselves, by your voluntary rejection of the Son of God? Are your hearts not affected by the consideration of the pernicious influence of your example? A world that has broken loose from its proper orbit may carry, far and wide, physical ruin and confusion among surrounding worlds; but the irregular course of one sinner may be productive of far greater evil—his path may be marked by a more fearful devastation: his lawless


« FöregåendeFortsätt »