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or strength. Human power may for a while support in. consistency and error, but error cannot support itself. Withdraw support from false theories and they fall by their own weight. But with christianity it is not so. It can stand of itself, yea, it has resisted all that wic. ked men and devils could do to effect its ruin. Its foundation, its superstructure, the whole edifice is eternal truth, and therefore no weapon formed against it shall prosper. When earthly thrones shall totter and crumble, Jesus' throne shall stand immoveable through eternal ages. Hence, ,
5. We infer the safety and blessedness of those who are united with Christ in the truth. Christ is their chosen king, and if he be for them, who can be against them?
Happy followers of Jesus, because he lives, ye shall live also. Forget not the ruin from which you were taken, and the price of your ransom. You were conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity. You were cast out into the open field to the loathing of your persons. You were without hope and without God in the world. Your sins gathered over your heads like a thick cloud. Sinai's mountain was all. on fire, and the penalty due to sin was ready to fall on you and plunge you into endless pain. But then did the arm of the Lord bring salvation. Then, O then, was a time of love. I have found a ransom said the father; and the Son responds--Lo I come in the yolume of the book that is written of me, I delight to do thy will. And did the Son of God descend so low as to take thy place thou most unworthy of all God's creatures! Yes, he did bleed for thee, and thy life is the price of blood. Rich, free grace, has brought thee out of darkness into God's marvellous light, and made thee an heir with Emmanuel, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth (not away. As Jesus is of the truth, so art thou, O thou highly fa. vored of the Lord; and what manner of person oughtest thou to be ! How faithful, how devoted to the kingdom, how valiant for the truth, how indefatigable in
the vineyard of God! Ye sons and daughters of the Lord, born of the incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth for ever, by the side of such prince will you ever grow faint and let down your watch? Remember ye have nothing to fear. Though the sea rage and the heavens gather blackness, though the hail descend, lightnings play, thunders roar, and the earth shake from its centre, yet in Jesus ye are secure. He lives. As he is true and faithful, your feet shall never slide. Keep your eye upon his blessed character, stay yourselves upon his truth, follow him whithersoever he goeth and glory in his presence.
6. We may infer, the wretchedness of those who are opposed in heart to the truth. The foundation of your hope is in the sand and cannot stand the day of trial. As you are opposed to the truth, you are opposed to God. You are dreaming of peace and safety, in a place of the utmost hazard. Do not for the world be indifferent to your situation, and the steps you are taking. Stop and pause! Stop and pause! Remember you are in arms against a king more mighty than yourselves. Your disaffection with the truth is as preposterous as it is base. You are completely in God's hand, from which there is no release. While you are imagining your fortress is strong, and are defying the Almighty, you are shut in at every avenue, and absolutely taken. While you are at ease on you pillow, judgment slumbereth not, damnątion lingereth not. From whatsoever pretext you have come out in hostile array against the truth, will you deem it too much to review, the ground you have taken, and the strength and excellence against which you are contending? If find on you mature deliberation, that your situation is unsafe, that your prospects for eternity can yeild no rest in the moment of dissolution, will you not flee for refuge to that rock which is higher than you? Hitherto you have been feeding on an airly phantom, but believe, if the Son make you free, you shall be free indeed.' Reader, if this moment thou art a
despiser of gospel grace, yet reflect, you are' hastening to the judgment to receive thy last sentence from which there is no respite, no reprieve. If once you fall beneath his stroke, there is no deliverer there.'
7. We may infer, that ministers of the gospel hold a place of immense responsibility to God and the souls of men.
If they suppress the truth as it is in Jesus, for fear of offending their hearers; if they substitute laxness of principle, for the doctrines of the cross, dry outside morality for practical godliness, they do it at an awful peril. They are not placed on Jerusalem's wall to amuse the multitude with a mock religion in human attire. They are not sent forth to fabricate new theories, or gloss the truth, to render it less offensive to the carnal heart. For no such end was the christian ministery instituted. The gospel heralds are not at liberty thus to aspire. They are embassadors from God to deliver his message in its true spirit and genuine simplicity. If from this they depart, through cowardice or thirst for popular applause, they are no longer embassadors of Christ, but traitors to his cause. And can there be a higher crime committed against the Supreme Majesty, than coming out under a cloak of friendship for Christ, and then aiming destruction at his throne. Verily God will not hold them guiltless. Such treachery will not escape with impunity. And with what face will the unfaithful preacher meet his hearers at the judgment bar? He had taught his hearers ; but had taught them to disbelieve. He had confirmed them in their guilt by refusing to expose it. He had blinded their eyes about God by keeping his character out of sight. He had feasted their pride, when they needed humbling: He had pleased their fancies, at the expence of their souls. He had inflated them with expectations of heaven, when on the brink of destruction, and closed their eyes, giving them God-speed with a lie in their right hand; and how is he to settle this account on the day of final reckoning! How is he to clear himself from the blood of souls! Wherewith will he frame his plea in self defence, against his flock thus accusing and upbraidingi? We were thy flock and thou wert our shepherd. With you were the treasures of knowledge and truth. And why didst thou withhold from us the messages thou wast sent to deliver. We are undone forever through thy unfaitfulness. You never described in our hearing the character of our Judge, nor the truth of his word. The doctrines you taught us to despise, we find to be the truth of God. You allowed us to sport with his sovereignty and decrees, and in this, thou didst awfully deceive us. You reproved us politely for disgraceful crimes, but never described to us the sin of our nature. When we were sometimes alarmed at our state and prospects, you hushed our fears by crying, peace, peace, whereas God had said, there is no peace to the wicked.' How overwhelmed with guilt and horror will such preachers be with their deceived hearers, on the great day of account. Ye who lead in the assemblies of the saints, and are embasadors of Christ to an ungodly world, can ye be indifferent to the high responsibility, with which you are cloathed? Your ministry is as eventful as eternity. Keeping nigh the standard of truth, may every word you utter be such as shall give you boldness and rejoicing in the day of Christ's appearing. Be not dismayed nor discouraged. Truth will outlive all opposition raised to its prejudice. Not as at the bar of Pontius Pilate, but before the whole assembled universe, Jesus will honor the truth, to which every conscience will ascent to the glory of God.
Finally. Let not a soul be indifferent to the truth. If you are saved it will be through a cheerful acquiescence with Jesus in the doctrines of his word. It is your life to be with Christ in the truth. You are rich for eternity if on this foundation, but if on any other, you are gone--gone, and lost forever. Amen.
LOVE TO CHRIST.
A SER MO N.
PASTOR OF A CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN THE FIRST
JOHN xxi. 17.
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me ?
MANY there are, even in christian lands, who discard christianity; many rest in a cold assent to its doctrines, while they believe and know nothing of the heaven-born principle of vital religion in the soul. Like the poor brutes around them, they eat and drink and sleep, breathe and walk; while the interests of another life are thought, exclusively, to concern the weak, the sickly, the aged and the dying.' The hearts of others are so entirely occupied with business or aniusements, that they remain strangers to their bible, to their Saviour, to themselves; strangers indeed to every thing which it is the great purpose of life to learn. Multitudes, in these awful circumstances, live with as much apparent tranquility as though they were perfectly assured, that christianity is a fiction and eternity a dream.
My brethren, are we immortal creatures? Shall these souls of ours survive the changes of time, and exist in glory or despair, when the petty interests of this mutable and perishing work shall have passed into oblivion? What subject can better deserve our attention than a careful inquiry into our own moral state and prospects for an endless hereafter? What