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duty of every creature. It is the inev- pressing nature. These benefits, also, itable law of our being. God could are innumerable.
What have you not have required of us either more or which you did not receive ? Who gave less than he has. If we exist as crea- you your existence ? For whom do tures, an obligation lies upon us, which you live, and move, and haye your beis coinmensurate with our existence, ing? From whose store-house are you to love God supremely, and our neigh- fed and clothed? Who is he that gives bor as ourselves. To deny this obli- you rain from Heaven, and fruitful seagation, is absurd-To labor to remove sons, filling your hearts with food and it, is vain. What then will you do? gladness? And who is he that has proWill you through an aversion to the vided a ransom for your souls, and bro't ways of God, repine at your existence life and immortality to light through Will you rise up, and complain of God the gospel? Can you view God as the for creating you, because you were author of all these benefits, and at the not made free from obligation to love same time overlook your obligation to and praise him? Would you prefer ab- gratitude ? Blind indeed must be the solute non-existence to the state of wretch who can do this. And equalsubjects of God's moral government ? ly blind must he be who can enjoy How awfully absurd it would be to ut- sạch mercies without eyeing the hand ter a complaint of this kind, or to har-which bestows them. bor one such wish!
But this is the very character of all But should any one be so hardened as stupid sinners. You regard not the to do this, it would avail nothing. For source whence all your supplies come. existence you possess with all its at- You consume the favors of God upon tending obligations-And you can an- your lusts. The streams of Divine nihilate neither the one nor the other. bounty are continually flowing to you;
It is therefore, your iņdispensable but you make no suitable returns. duty to be, and to do whatever the di- You breathe God's air ; live upon his vine law requires. You are bound to provisions, and wear his clothing: Yet be constantly active for God, and the he is not in all your thoughts. great interests of his kingdom.' Con- But the most aggravating circumsequently your stupidity is infinitely stance pertaining to your ingratitude, unreasonable and criminal. By indul- is your indifference to the calls of the ging it, you pervert your faculties, and Gospel. The voice of mercy is conviolate the law of your being. Howtinually saluting your ears; but you absurd and wicked it is to be dead, are like the deaf adder which will not when you were created to be alive. be charmed. Wisdom cries and unYour stupidity and sloth are all of ihe derstanding puts forth her voice. She nature of rebellion.—You are continu- stands in the top of the bigh places, by ally contemning the authority of God. the way in th places of the paths. It iş inexpressibly henious to live in She crieth at the gates, at the entry sych a state.
of the city, at the coming in at the 2. By indulging stupidity in regard doors, O ye simple,understand wisdom; to religion, you act an awfully ungrate- and ye fools be ye of an understanding
heart. ' But all without effect. You The bestowment of favors creates an are locked in the arms of stupidity. obligation to gratitude. The greater You indulge the most sordid ingratiand more needful the gift, the greater tude, and despise the riches of salvathe obligation of the receiver to the tion. How stupidly unreasonable is giver. According to this rule, your this conduct! You stand reproved by obligation to be grateful to God is infi- the very brutes. • The Ox knowet! nitely binding: For you have receiv- his owner and the Ass his maste ed the richest benefits at his hand, and crib; but Israel doth not know, your need of them was of the most people doth not consider."
3. Your carnal stupidity deprives. Some of you enjoy satisfaction in ac you of the solid and sublime enjoy- quiring science, or in floating on the ments which religion now imparts to tide of wealth and honor. But what the children of God. You inherit, at is the sum total of all this happiness? best, nothing but a leeting and sordid Look at your associations. They are portion. This is a consideration which 'merely of a worldly nature. Your conexposes your unreasonableness. For, versation is earthly, trifling, and vain. surely, it must be unreasonable to give The ligaments which bind you togethup the substance for the shadow of er have nothing of a spiritual nature.. happiness. To slight your own mer What is your sport and merriment ? cies, and wrong your own souls, is ab- Let Solomon answer. “As the cracksurd and foolish in the extreme, ling of thorps under a pot, so is the
You may be sure that it is for your laughter of a fool.” “I said of laughter, highest interest in this world, (exclu- it is mad, and of mirth what doth it?" sive of the rewards of eternity,) to bel"Even in laughter, the heart is sorawake and active in the things of reli- rowful, and the end of that mirth is gion. Let fools and hypocrites say heaviness.” To the truth of these p&s. what they will to the contrary, the ser- sages, if you speak from experience, vice of God now yields a blessed re- you cannot fail to bear testimony. ward. “There is no man that hath What is science to persons who know left house, or brethred, or sisters, or fa- not God? You have probably as mucha ther, or mother, or wife, or children, or pleasure in this, as in any thing: but it lands, for Christ's sake and the gos- is very trivial in comparison with the pel; but he shall receive an hundred happiness which is imparted by true fold now in his time, houses, and breth-wisdom. After the utmost attainments ren, and sisters, and mothers, and in human science, he who has no heart children, and land, with persecutions, to know and love God, and the gospel, and in the world to come, eternal life.” is a fool. What is honor? A mere It is a truth that “wisdomn's ways are empty name.' Nor is there any thing pleasant, and all her paths are peace.” in wealth which is able to make you The blessed Saviour assures all who truly happy. Riches are deceitful and come to him, that “he will give them uncertain. rest.” “ His yoķe is easy and his bur- Thus it is manifest that all be springs den is light."
of worldly enjoyment are, at best, exTrials and crosses christians must tremely low. Besides, they are often have. But these are all mingled with interrupted and dried up. How unrea: consolation. So that we may well sonable, therefore, it is to go aside of "glory in tribulation, knowing that trib- the path of true happiness as you do. ulation worketh patience, and patience“ Why do ye spend money for that experience, and experience hope : and which is not bread, and your labor for hope maketh not ashamed." Every that which satisfieth not ?" Why are true christian experiences pardon of ye blind to your own best good? Why sin, communion with God, and joy in do ye so constantly drink in the bane the Holy Ghost,
of your peace? O be wise, and awake In comparison with these things how out of your stupidity! sordid are the pleasures of the world. 4th. The unreasonableness of your What does your happiness amount to ? stupidity in regard to the things of reIn health you eat, and drink, and sleep. ligion, further appears from the consiSo do the brutes. There is nothing in deration that you hereby pervert and these things which is suited to the ca- degrade your moral and intellectual
. powers. You have, also, the pleasures of society. pacities to glarify and enjoy the ever
You can incet in jovial companies, and blessed God. Nothing binders you
chent to the sound of the viol."- from attaining to true wisdom, but a
heart. It is a fact that you This is a fact which deserves the have natural powers to soar above this most serious consideration. For it world, and to engage in the employ-serves, in a striking manner, to expose ment of angels. You are capable of the folly and unreasonableness of sin. progressing in knowledge, holiness and If we see a man who neglects that happiness through endless duration.- which is essential to his prosperity and Are you not, therefore, awfully unrea- happiness, we set him down as exsonable in employing these powers on- tremely unwise and incopsiderate. For ly in the service of yourselves and the instance, if a beggar should have the world? You cannot deny but that you offer of a large and handsome estate make a horrid perversion of them. It upon complying with some easy and is a most lamentable thing that you equitable condition; or if a criminal, are wise only “ to do evil," when you justly, condemned to die, should have might be wise “to do good.” You are the offer of his life upon imploring the capable of aspiring to a worthy and no- pardon of his sovereign, and returning ble end. But instead of this you are to his allegiance; would not a neglect living for the meanest and the worst. to comply, in either case, be express You are the servants of corruption.- ive of the most amazing inconsidera. In respect of any thing which is truly tion and folly? But how much greater praiseworthy, your souls are palsied. must be the folly of neglecting to comYou are dead in trespasses and sins.-ply with the offer of Heaven? What is Can you wonder that Solomon, with an earthly compared with a heavenly deep amazement, exclaimed, “where- inheritance ? An inheritance which is fore is there a price in the hand of a incorruptible, and undefiled, and which fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no no enemy can assail ? Or, what is the heart to it?" Why will you continue pardon conferred by an earthly judge, this folly! Why will you act so much though for the highest offence against beneath the dignity of your being ? Why human laws, in comparison with the will you live like beasts. when you were divine forgiveness of sinners, and re: created men ? It is high time to awake demption from an eternal curse? Your and turn from this folly.
unreasonableness in thus neglecting the 5. Your stupidity is unreasonable" great salvation" is astonishing and ag
el because of the tendency of your ex- gravating beyond expression. ample to destroy others. Example is 7. Your stupidity renders you liable, a powerful thing. Hereby “one sin daily, to be whelmed in everlasting runer destroyeth much good ” Your stu- in. The punishment threatened in the pidity is a dreadful contagion. It is the divine law, is not simply negative.Yery choke-damp of death. By your The loss of heaven is only a part of example, others are induced to put far the evil entailed upon the impenitent, away the evil day, till destruction, with You are, likewise, exposed to positive out remedy, comes upon them. Your and unutterable misery,continued thro' conduct, therefore is amazingly un- endless duration. “He that believeth reasonable and cruel. The guilt of ru- not shall be damned." Sentence is alining one another by your bad exam ready given against you. The execuples will be a dreadful ingredient in tion is only stayed during the pleasure your future misery.
of the Judge. You are every moment 6. Your carnal stupidity and sloth, liable to be cut off. Your situation is expose you to the loss of Heaven, and infinitely perilous. How unreasonable, must, consequently, be infinitely un- therefore, and shocking is your stupidreasonable. Every moment, you are ity! The tempest of Divine vengeance liabie to have the door of mercy closed is preparing to burst upon your heads, upon you. You are continually liable yet you behave as though there were to sustain an infinite & irreparable loss. no danger. What indescribable follo By your stupidity and unbelief, you ha- and madness! To rush continually zard every thing which is valuable.
on ruin with such dreadful stupidity, your eyes upon your danger? Why do and carelessness, presents a view of you disregard your eternal peace ?human wickedness and folly, which Why do you thus trainple upon the auwould appear wholly incredible, if the thority of God; despise his warnings; fact were not before our eyes. and refuse to receive the riches of his
What renders your stupidity in this grace ? matter the more shocking, is the con- Pause, I entreat you, and consider sideration that you are all alive and ac- the folly and sinfulness of your contive in the pursuit of other things which, dact. Behold your amazing infatuaat best, are infinitely inferior to the tion! See how you are undoing yoursalvation of your souls; and which selves forever! And arouse from this are, often, of no value at all. “ For the lethargy, and supplicate the mercy of meat that perisheth;' for treasure which your offended Sovereign. Cry peace “moth and rust corrupt," and thieves no longer, when there is no peace. molest, you labor with all diligence. Delay not a moment. Escape for your But “for the meat which endurethr un- life. Humble yourselves at the footto everlasting life;" and for treasure stool of mercy. In a word, hear and which is incorruptible, and undefiled,' obey that solemn exhortation, “awake and “which faileth not;" you are at thou that sleepest, and arise from the no pains.
dead, and Christ shall give thee light."? You are also very sensible to danger in respect of the present life. If
SOME ACCOUNT OF HANNAH. your persons or property are exposed, you diligently resort to measures for
- God hath chosen the foolish things of security. But the danger you are in
the world to confound the wise; and of eternal damnation gives you no se
God hath chosen the weak things of the rious troubles; or, at most
, it gives world to confound the things which you very little concern in proportion world, and things which are
are mighty; and base things of the to the magnitude of the subject. You can walk upon the precipice of ever
hath God chosen, yea, and things which lasting ruin heedless and unconcerned,
are not, to bring to nought things that and even sport at the very threshold are ; that no flesh should glory in his of misery. Not a step do you take to presence.” escape the danger which surrounds HANNAH was a very simple young you, and to obtain the blessings of sal- woman. Her natural abilities and her vation. But your thoughts and desires, education were below mediocrity.and strength, are spent in the pursuit Her situation was such that she had of this world, and the pleasures of sin. only a few acquaintances. She saw
Now to be capable of acting as you and heard but little of what takes place are, and yet live, and labor for such in the world. Accordingly her knowllow, unworthy and destructive ends, edge was confined within a very small instead of those which are dignified and compass. The language she had been happifying in the highest degree, is be- taught was uncommonly plain. She yond expression, unreasonable and cri- could neither speak nor understand minal. It would seem that the stur-half the words in ordinary use. diest rebel could not fail to be shock- Hannah was a cripple. In the midst ed at his sin and folly !
of youth a severe sickness visited her What mean you, O sleepers! Why and separated her from those gaieties are ye thus regardless of the terrors of|and vain amusements which are the the Almighty? How can you rock|common delight and ruin of young peoyourselves in the cradle of carnal se-ple. For more than twelve years, if curity, while the billows of Divine I mistake not, she was unable to walk wrath are continually threatening to o- or stand. A considerable part of the verwhelm you? Why do you shut time she was under the care of phy.
sicians. Her pains were often extreme. | others. She was grieved at the conStill she was industrious. She used duct of careless sinners, and wondered to sit up, sometimes in her bed, some-how they could go on, and sin against times supported by pillows, at other that blessed Lord.” It was not untimes in a chair ; and, when free from usal for her to weep, when she obserdistressing pain, busily employ her ved misconduct in those around her.time in needlework, in which, consid-Sin was her burden wherever she saw ering her advantages, she excelled. it.
It seems that Hannah's afflictions Hannah appeared to be the subject had, through the divine blessing, a sal- of Christian love. She frequently utary influence upon her mind. The spoke of God's being lovely and glorifollowing things are mentioned, as ev- ous. Christ was infinitely excellent in idence of her piety. I begin with her her view. She placed her heart upon contentment and patience. She was him, and chose wholly to be in his pleased with her confinement, and hands. The character and ways of God even with her sickness. She thought seemed to be the subject of her daily herself highly favored in being thus af- and most delightful meditation. She ficted. Remembering how thought- loved the Bible, kept it always dear less and vain she was while in health, her, and, considering her infirmities, and seeing others as thoughtless as read it very diligently. She had an she once was, she viewed it as the ardent affection for ministers of the greatest kindness, that God had taken gospel. Happy in her ignorance, she away her health. Sometimes, in her looked upon them all, without excepunaffected simplicity, she expressed tion to be the faithful friends of Christ. great uwillingness to be freed from sick. She no sooner saw a minister, than her ness and pain ; fearing she should, in love was kindled; for her pious tho'ts that case, get out of the blessed way; immediately flew to Jesus, whose imwhich was her phrase for a serious, age, she supposed, was to be seen in godly life. She habitually discovered all his professed servants. a calm, patient spirit in her greatest It was observed that religious consufferings, and sometimes manifested versation and prayer generally put her gratitude, that God would take so much into a very pleasant and delightful notice of her as to correct her. When frame, which she manifested by rethe reason of her contentment was in-markable mildness and sweetness in quired after, it was found to be the all- her countenance and words. The exdirecting providence of a wise, just and ercises of christian society in her room gracious God. It was God's will that filled her soul with joy and delight. made the day of adversity welcome I shall now briefly mention the cloto her.
sing scene. I visited her sabbath eveShe appeared deeply sensible of her ning. It was thought her last mo. own unworthiness and vileness, as a sin-ments drew near. Though her bodily
She often spoke of it as matter distress was great,she appeared able to of wonder“ bow God could look upon command her feelings, and to devote such a poor, vile creature as she was." her mind to religious conversation.She evidently felt, that hell was her Soon after I went in, she told me, she proper desert, and that nothing but feared that she had, in the time of her great mercy could save her. Once sickness, sometimes felt uneasy, and she intimated how dreadful it would be spoken impatient words. She was to be cast off at last. On being asked grieved at the remembrance of any why it appeared so dreadful, she burst degree of impatience, in herself, which into tears, and said she could not bear however great her affliction had been, to think of parting with “ that blessed she esteemed very sinful. She wished lovely Being.”
us to pray that God would forgive her;. She was sensible of the evil of sin in and seemed to have much clearer views