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sary persuaded them, that they had religion enough. Hearers, take heed, that you be not found at last in their number.
The subject demands it of you, that you ask yourselves what evidence you have, that, in God's sight, you are righteous? Do you love God, as holy, and his commandments, as holy, just, and good? Do you rejoice in his laws, which condemn you; and do you condemn yourselves, as sinners? Do you wish for that kind of happiness, the enjoyment of which will render the righteous always blessed?
Do you pray to God, heartily wishin, that his will may be done; and that your wills may be, in all things, conformed to his? When you ask him to give you health, friends, long life, prosperity, and wisdom, do you ask for these desirable things with the wish, that they may be means of helping you to heaven? When you receive them, and other worldly favors, do you grow more humble; see more of your own vileness, as sinners; get a worse opinion of yourselves and find your hearts more fervently engaged in the duties of piety? When you suffer natural evil; when pain and disease fill your mortal bodies; when dis. appointments are set in array against you; when your earthly schemes of business and pleasure are baffled; when bereavements lay your choicest creature comforts low in the dust; when calamaties are commissioned thus to try you, what is the effect? Do you yield, under the divine discipline? Does the heart within you, grow tender? Is pride brought down? Do you look up, adore, and praise, and bow before, Him, whose hand has touched you? Are your inquiries more earnest, than before, what the Lord would have you do? What are the lessons of duty, he would have you learn and practice? As these natural evils break your hold upon the earth, so ask yourselves, whether they diminish your at tachment to things beneath heaven?
And how are you affected by the discovery of moral evil-wickedness that was unknown to yourselves, untill the Spirit of God laid open, to your view, more of that deceitfulness which there is in sin? Does every discovered sin throw you upon your knees, before God in humble, but hearty self condemnation; and in earnest entreaty, for that repentance which has the promise of pardon? In false religion, the heart is stupid, even amidst discovered sins. It is hard. It is a heart of stone. Or if there be feeling, there is also self justification, and an attempt to throw back the blame upon the spotless Creator. Here is rebellion marked with the guilt of no common aggravations. It is high handed hostility against heaven's glorious king. Is this your character and conduct? Or does every known sin bring you quickly to God and cause you individually to smite upon your breast and say, Behold I am vile; God be merciful to me a sinner?
Are all divine dispensations sanctified? Are they means of your growth in grace? Do they all, • whether for the present, joyous or grievous,' draw you and keep you nearer and nearer to God? Have you evidence,' that all things do work together for your good; your spiritual prosperity? Is your love to God and every known duty encreasing, like the rising light of the morning, progressive continually towards the perfect splendor of noon day? Is it like a grain of mustard seed, springing up and soon to become a tree? Is it like leaven hid in three measures of meal and quickly to diffuse its influence through the whole lump? Do you wish to go to heaven because that is a world, where the redeemed are intirely freed from sin; filled with humility and rendered happy only in the love and practice of holiness? Ask yourselves these questions. Try your experience. Know if you are righteous. Your salvation depends upon it. Beware of deception, You
have one to judge you, whom you cannot deceive. SECONDLY. Righteousness is man's only valuable possession. This, to depraved creatures, is the purchase and the gift of Christ. But the manner in which creatures receive the possession, does not at all change its nature. In a wicked creature's being made righteous, infinite grace furnishes matter of endles admiration and praise. But the worth of righteousness itself is now the subject of remark. It is valuable, because it is a way of real and enduring happiness. It is, hearers, your only valuable possession, because it is your only way of present and perpetual blessedness. Other possesions whether they consist in health and long life; in earthly affluence and power; in temporal ease and affectionate friends; or in high intellectual attainments; are certainly worth nothing to you, only so far as God, by sanct tifying them to your spiritual use, makes them the means of helping you to the attainment of right
This is the Godliness which is profitable for all things, and which has the promise of both worlds.' This is that wisdom which is from above; that wisdom whose ways are pleasantness, and whose paths are all peace.' This is that pearl of great price, which would be cheaply purchased, though it were to cost you all you might possess besides. This is that gain, which rescues your souls from per. dition, and fits you for never ending glory. And what, on the other hand shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole of this world and loose his soul ?' What then can be valuable; what can be worthy of your earnest and unceasing pursuit, besides that possession, which the holy Discerner and Judge of all hearts, will acknowledge as righteousness? Get this wisdom therefore, whose price is above rubies, and with all your getings, get this understanding."/
Would you have it well with your souls forever ? Then pursue nothing but under the direction of a single eye, to the attainment of this righteousness. And accept the exhortation to seek this immediately, not forgetting, that delays are dangerous.' Why will you be wretched till to-morrow, when you may be happy to-day? Why will you put your souls longer to the risk of eternal damnation, when they may be instantly rendered safe for heaven? And as to present enjoyment, why will you longer starve on husks, yes, and in company with the swine of the mire too, when there is heavenly bread enough and to spare, offered for your acceptance? Receive, then, without delay, the offered salvation, the best possession, which even Omnipotence can confer. Receive, in your souls, the righteousness of the Redeemer, and
it shall be well with you.' How desirable to possess such a character; how ineffably desirable to so live in the sight of God, as to have his promise, that you shall be safe; his promise that nothing shall hurt you! How much better than the wealth of worlds, to look forward with the christian's hope, the hope that shall never shame you with disappointment, and expect, because God has promised it, that you shall soon join the society, and be perfectly blessed in the holy services of the heavenly world; that you shall soon join the innumerable company around the throne of God and the Lamb; that you shall soon join those holy hosts, who cease not day nor night, to sing the new song, saying Alleluia, blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God, for ever and ever.'--Amen.