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dangerous shoals of sin. The people of the world will not believe that they are sinners, neither will they believe that sin will be punished with the severity the Bible declares. Unconverted souls draw a line as to the magnitude and demerit of sin. Little sins, say they, are unavoidable, and therefore God cannot be offended at them; but great sins, such as murder, theft, beastly lusts, &c. are so enormous, man bimself punishes them, and so must God. On this fatal shoal millions are ruined eternally; it sinks them into the gulph of hell, where they find a woful differ
Sin of every description, whether great or small, although it may not be recognized by man, is infinite in its nature, because committed against an infinite Being; it will therefore meet with infinite punishment. In order that we may know what offences are of a sinful character, the apostle Paul gives us a very copious detail of them, and at the same time warns us not to flatter ourselves that we shall ever escape punishinent if we indulge in any of them.
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these : adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like, of the which I tell you now, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."*
Another great danger which threatens man in the ocean be is navigating, is
* Galatians v, 10—21.
disregard of Christ. The world is in dreadful error.
It supposes that merely acknowledging Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of man, is a sufficient guarantee for eternal felicity. As well might mariners hope to escape dangerous rocks and shoals, who only confessed that they existed, but never tried to become acquainted with them. The world admit, that a knowledge of Christ is necessary to salvation, but they make it to consist in simply knowing that there is such a being; not in a deep sense of the importance of being intimately acquainted with him in all the blessed offices of his character, as mediator between a righteous God and miserable sinners. The world confess with their tongues, that Christ is Lord, but in works they deny him.
They neither obey his commandments nor love his
Those precepts of the gospel which oppose their delights, and enjoin an absolute surrender of the heart to Christ as sovereign of the world, they hate. For him they will neither pluck out a right eye, nor cut off a right hand of iniquity. They wish to go to heaven, but it must be in their own way, not as Jesus commands. All these things prove that the Lord of life and glory, Christ our Saviour, is awfully disregarded; and they also prove that vast numbers are exposed to dangers of the most serious description. “ They that honour me, I will honour; but they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed."* Sinners, your sailing is dangerous, but God is not willing that you should perish; he has therefore placed beacons in every part of your course to warn you, and whatever can add to your safety, he has freely given. The Bible, the glorious and perfect chart of eternal life, points out all your dangers, and directs you to seek guidance in Christ. Apply to him, as the poor publican in the gospel; and may grace make you feel as he did. « God be merciful unto me a sinner,” is a blessed cry; it reaches heaven, and brings to our aid the skilful pilot, Jesus, who alone can steer us safely through the dangerous sea of this life, and moor us securely in the haven of everlasting glory.
* 1 Sam. ii. 30.