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boast of bold and dangerous feats--you have seen some of your brethren so fool-hardy as to stand upon the top of a mast, perhaps have been such fools yourselves; but did you ever see or hear of one so mad as to adventure to fall asleep on such a station? I suppose not; but, alas! you yourselves are performing that awful miracle of madness every moment you live unreconciled to God; you are lulled asleep on the brink of end. less perdition ; your immortal spirits are sus. pended over the bottomless pit by a thread, a hair--even by so uncertain a hold as the brittle cord of life, which with you is liable to be burst asunder by numberless accidents, more than that of other men.
Would it be deemed an impertinent question, if I should ask whether you have ever been in a storm or an engagement, and from these, or any other cause, in immediate danger of losing your life? What, О man, were thy thoughts then, when instant death and opening eternity were disclosing their dread solemnities to thine eyes ? Did not thy heart melt within thee in the prospect of appearing before the tribunal of God? Were not thy fears roused as a devouring lion, when, at that awful moment, unrepented guilt stared thee in the face? What
wouldst thou then have given for a short reprieve to make up thy peace with heaven? At what price wouldst thou then have purchased the mercy of God? Perhaps, miserable sinner, thou wert, even in such circumstances, stupidly hardened against such imminent danger, insensible of the terrors of thy impending fate; perhaps thou wert incapable of thought, unable so much as to recommend thy perishing soul to mercy ; perhaps, dreadful state! thou wert imprecating the divine vengeance upon thy own head, madly consigning thyself, soul and body, to eternal damnation. God, who is rich in mercy, has compassionated thy case, though thou hast had so little compassion upon thyself; he has not taken thee at thy word, else thou shouldst even now have been lifting up thine eyes in torment; thou hast had thy reprieve, and, blessed be God, it is not yet expired. And “ despisest thou,” O man, “ the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, “ and long-suffering, not knowing that the good
ness of God should lead thee to repentance ?" Art thou, after thy “ hardness and impenitent “ heart, treasuring up to thyself, wrath against “ the day of wrath, and revelation of the righte
ous judgment of God?” Thou hast not been respited in vain ; it is either that thou mayest have space for working out thy salvation, or that
the justice of God may stand more clearly vindicated in thy condemnation; that thou mayest stand inexcusable before God, to the conviction of thine own heart, having despised a call so alarming, and misimproved a deliverance so graciously intended. I cannot suffer myself to think
you capable of such obstinate stupidity, or of such desperate thoughtlessness, as to sit down contented under the latter part of this important alternative; I persuade myself, that you are now sensible of your situation, and fully determined, by the grace and strength of God, to employ the present precious opportunities of being restored to the favour and protection of your
heavenly Father, and thereby secured from the dangers of life, the fears of death, and the horrors of eternal punishment.
But what shall I say to those unhappy men, who are already much hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, whom imminent dangers and miraculous escapes have only served to confirm in desperate, obdurate contempt of God, and unconcern about their own interests? -and would to God this were a less frequent case than it is. Will
you not join me, my dear fellow christians, in deploring the misery of these precious perishing immortals, who are but one short step re
moved from the pains of hell-fire, who are rushing as fast as time and wickedness can hurry them to the sufferance of tormenting flames which shall never be quenched, and the stings of the worm that dieth not? Who can tell, O sinner, whether the tempest may not already have begun to gather, whether the billow may not already have received its commission, whether the rock may not already be prepared, which is to sink thee into remediless despair? Can imagination itself paint a situation more dreadful than thine, should this be the case? to be cut off even in the blossoms of thy sin, sent to render thy account, and no space afforded for repentance; not so much as a moment to cry for mercy. Yes, I can conceive one still more horrible y vengeance may suffer thee to live, thou mayest be permitted to go on, and fill up the measure of thiy iniquity, to sin away more precious time, more precious means of salvation, to walk in the imagination of thine heart, to harden thyself yet more and more against the motions of God's Spirit, to arm omnipotence with more vengeful fury against thee, and blow up the flames of thy torment to a seven-fold rage.
When I consider this, can I sit still and be silent? can I be at peace when I see you driving heedlessly to your ruin? No, let me now take to myself the trump of God, the word of this gospel, and sound an alarm in thine ears, lest I be prevented by the voice of the archangel rousing thee from thy prison, and hurrying thee to judgment. “ What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, “ call upon thy God: if so be that God will “ think upon thee, that thou perish not: sinner, “ awake, awake, awake, consider with whom thou " hast to do-with him, who after he has killed, “ can destroy both soul and body in hell. Who " ever hardened himself against God and pros“ pered?” Canst thou pluck the Almighty from his throne? hast thou an arm like God canst thou thunder with a voice like his or hast thou deliberately taken up the horrid resolution of dwelling with “ devouring fire,” of fixing thy final residence in the midst of “ everlasting “ burnings ?” O! yet bethink thyself before it be too late; while yet there is hope, while yet thou art recoverable: « Seek the Lord while “ he may be found, call upon him while he is “ near:" give thy soul no rest till thou findest it in God.