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trying to do it; are very religious, though they never read their bibles; and shall be sure of heaven hereafter, notwithstanding they take no pains to secure it here. though every thing we get is by God's free gift; and every thing we do by his grace enabling us, we are not therefore to be lazy. The exhortation to us is, strive to enter into the strait gate, for many shall indolently seek to enter in and shall not be able. Duty is ours, and the reward will come in our duty, though not for it; will come while using the means, though not for any merit in our using them.

6. They take the shadow for substance. Religion, our consciences tell us, is absolutely necessary, and the wicked often wish to have some of it: but the outward form is as much as they desire. In old times it was so; God says of the wicked Israelites, "This people draweth near to me with their lips, they sit as my people sit, but their heart is far from me. think well of themselves if they go to church, though they never worship God there; if they are sober and chaste, however worldly minded; and pay every one their dues, except God, who requires the heart, the mind, the soul, to be devoted

Many

to him such will even think themselves religious.

7. They take sinsel for gold, trash for treasure. When a wicked man's religion rises the highest, and he takes the most pains to have it perfect, his endeavours rest in himself. It is on his good heart, his good works, his good intentions, he trusts for acceptance, and favor before God: which is like a beggar's fancying his rags to be robes. He tries by his own tears and repentance to wash his soul clean, as if with muddy water one could wash linen white. Whereas it is the blood of Jesus Christ which cleanseth us from all sins, and there is no other name under heaven, by which we can be saved.

Thirdly. Let us consider their reward shame shall be the promotion of fools. It is the hope of reward which sweetens labour. And as none work harder at any thing, than the wicked do at sin, one would think there had been something better for him than shame. But there is not, all who have tried have found it so.

1. This surprise arises from a sense of their folly, such a sense of it as contains conviction. They cheated themselves before perhaps, and thought their way wise;

but in the end, all their false reasoning and foolish excuses will be done away, and they will see that sin is neither pleasant, safe, nor profitable; but ruinous both to body and soul. Such a sense will they have, as leaves an abiding impression. They often saw their folly before, but shook off the troublesome idea by some fresh sin; lost it in the bustle of some amusement; or drowned it in a cup of liquor: but now they can shake it off no longer. Their folly stares them in the face, seizes them, and gnaws upon their consciences, as a greedy wolf seizes and devours his prey. Such a sense as produces heart-rending remorse. When a man is brought to shame by another's villany, it is some ease to think it was not his own, but the sinner's shame is chargeable upon none but himself.

He

was not forced to sin, he chose it, he hated holiness: and the thought of this will embitter his shame. Nay, the sense of his folly will, if delayed till the other world, produce despair. He will see that having refused wisdom so long, it is no longer to be had; his case is hopeless. How dreadful must be that shame, which by clear convictions, abidingly impressed, produces remorse and despair.

2.

Their shame arises from the effects of their folly, disappointment.

Hope deferred, maketh the heart sick, but hope blasted as the sinner's is, must rend the heart in pieces. When a soldier engages in a battle, he hopes for victory; if on the contrary, he is taken prisoner, instead of glory, he gets disgrace. It is just so with the wicked. They fight against God all their lives long by sin, when at last, he says, "Bring all those mine enemies who would not have me to reign over them, and slay them before me." Where will be their glory? buried in shame and disgrace! When a man embarks his whole fortune in business, he hopes thereby to get rich; if he fails, and instead of wealth gets poverty, and that through his own folly, how ashamed must he be! Oh how poor, by his own folly poor, will the sinner be, when he stands naked before God, utterly destitute of riches, comforts, and hopes.

As they get disgrace instead of glory, and poverty instead of riches, so they get misery instead of happiness. They were often told it would be so; but sin appeared so pleasant, that nothing could drive

them from it. They boasted that pleasure was theirs, only when they find the end of these things to be death, their glory will be turned into shame. Instead of heaven too, they find hell. The most wicked man hopes to be saved, and though told no wicked persons go to heaven, still he foolishly hopes, and cries peace, when sudden destruction waits him. Must not such bitter disappointments as these, produce the most overwhelming shame.

3. Their shame arises from the ex posure of their folly. If a man does a foolish thing in secret, he will most likely feel but little shame about it; but if it is exposed to open view, the hardiest must feel. This is the sinner's case, he does things with pleasure, because he thinks them secret, but they will be all exposed, and his folly will cover him with shame. They will be exposed,

To men; from whom perhaps he thinks them hid, and whose judgement he most regards. These shall see him to be a fool. His friends shall know and despise him, his enemies shall see, and triumph over him.

To angels, shall he be exposed. Those

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