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« shall be able to separate me from the love of • God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Call to mind the instructions, which God has at any time given you, by his word, by his works, by his providence, by the still voice of conscience, by the calls of his ministers, and you will find them all center in this one point of bringing you to Christ. By every blessing you enjoy, and every misery you suffer, he makes you feel the hatefulness and horror of sin, and therefore the necessity of flying to Him, who is alone able to take away sin,
Again, by the constitution of every thing which is in you and around you ; by the frame and essence of your dearest enjoyments, by the caducity of the friends you love when living, and by the ashes of those whom you deplore when dead, the same God instructs you in the vanity and emptiness of every inortal and present blessing, and therefore points out the wisdom and importance of depending upon Him alone, who is the resurrection and the life,
Feel you not again within yourselves the painful struggles between virtue and temptation, the fiery combat between lust and reason, the sturdy Teluctations of conscience before the commission
of sin, and its stinging lashes and reproaches after it?“And what are all these but the documents and monitions of the Father, warning and directing you to fly for succour to Christ, through faith, in whom alone ye can obtain the whole armour of God, those celestial aids of the Holy Spirit, which are necessary to strengthen your weakness, and to enable you to withstand the assaults of the world, the flesh and the devil ?' -Such too is the language of his written word in every page; such is the instruction of the wide volume of his providence, whether considered as extended over nations and empires, or confined to individuals; such too is the voice of his ministers, who are the ministers of Christ, who stand here to exhort you in the name and words of Christ, and whose constant language is simply this :-Go, ye children af care and sorrow, from a vain and transitury world, where misery accompanies you from your cradles to your graves ; go to Him, who holds out to you? the prospect of a better world : you have too long laboured for the meat that perisheth, you have too long been laying up treasures on earth, where rust and moth corrupteth every enjoyment of life. Cease therefore to expect happiness in a state where sin and sorrow are insepaa rable companions; and look up to that better inheritance, which God' hath provided for you,
with a lively faith and just confidence; learn of the Father, and go to Christ, the anchor of hope, the helmet of salvation, the author of eternal life: and then, though mortal pangs afilict your body; though affliction rain upon you her bitterest drops; though nature successively tear from you, with agonizing violence, every dear and tender connection of life, and finally even life itself; yet, in every state, whether of life or death, ye shall find rest and comfort to your souls. .
Need I then call upon you to listen to such an instructor? Need I remind you, that He who condescends to teach you in these various ways is no less than the Creator of all things, the great Judge of quick and dead; to whose awful voice the prophet of old so pathetically summoned the circle of nature to attend :-“ Hear, “ O heavens, and give ear, O earth : for the “ Lord hath spoken.” Need I address you in the solemu language of the writer to the Hebrews, -" See that ye refuse not hiìn that speak" eth : for if they escaped not, who refused “him that spake on earth, much more shall 46 not we escape, if we refuse him that speaketh " from heaven.” Need I tell you, that his instructions are of more importance than the trea
sures of Golconda or the gold of Ophir ?—That it depends upon your attention to them, whether ye shall be reserved in chains under darkness for ever, or be raised on wings of seraphs to the regions of glory, and honour, and immortality? Need I say, that the time of listening to this divine Instructor is not in your own power ? To you, indeed, he still speaks by my voice : and may he not speak in vain! But remember, that “the dead hear not his voice, neither all " they that go down into silence :” and small is the line which divides the living from the dead : it is an undefinable limit; it is an imperceptible, unsubstantial boundary, which affords no support or security against time and chance: you may, therefore, in a moment be compelled to hear that awful voice speaking in judgment, which you now refuse to hear when speaking in mercy: you may, this very night or hour, be reduced to that hapless state, where all that can be done is, to regret the neglect of those opportunities, which, when once past, are never, never to be recalled ; to bewail in darkness and everlasting burnings the loss of heaven and happiness. Let us, therefore, whil:st we have time, hear and learn of the Father, that we may become his dear children. Let us go to the Son, that we may be one with him, even as he and
the the Father are one. And may the Holy Ghost, which was on this day shed abroad on the hearts of the disciples of Christ, descend into our hearts, to help our infirmities, and to seal us to the day of redemption!