Page images

themselves, dwelleth no good thing; that the good which they would do, which they wish, and confefs themselves bound in confcience to do, they often do not; that the evil which they would not, the evil which in their hearts they condemn, which they acknowledge that they ought to avoid, they often do. Continue therefore inftant in prayer, in watchfulness, in diligence to shun temptations, in holy exertions to withstand them. Fulfil your duty as a foldier of Chrift Jefus. Would you lay hold on eternal life? Fight the good fight of faith; perfevere in well-doing. If you draw back from Christ, he will draw back from you. Unless you perfevere in faith and holiness unto the end, you cannot be saved. Remember too, that you are to study to promote on every occafion the glory of the Lord Jefus. Let your light so shine before men, that they may fee your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Let the happy effects of religion on your principles, on your tempers, on your manners, on your actions, recommend religion to others. Employ your influence, your talents, your example, in the fervice of Chrift; and in the greatest of all fervices to your fellow-creatures, in


winning them to the knowledge and love of that salvation, which is in Chrift Jefus, and in him alone. If you ferve not your Redeemer in zealous obedience; where is your gratitude, where is your love? If you labour not to forward the extenfion of his kingdom; where is your zeal for his glory, where is your pity for man?

With refpect to thofe among you, who have not yet turned unto the Lord Jefus ; I could fcarcely fay too much, if your attention, perhaps already wearied, would allow me to enlarge, on the wretchedness and danger of your fituation, and on the madness of continuing in it. You have difregarded the great object for which you. were fent into being. You have lived fo this world. You have added fin to fin without repentance. You have defied the indignation of Almighty God. You have despised his Son Jefus, who ftooped from the throne of his glory, and became man, that he might die for you upon the Crofs. You have fcorned his offers of mercy, and done despite to the Spirit of Grace. You lie as yet under the judgement of everlasting condemnation to the lake of inextinguishable fire. What is your purpose? Do you design still to set the Lord God OmnipoG 2 potent

tent at defiance; ftill to trample on the blood of his Son; ftill to refift the Holy Ghoft? For you then what remaineth, as furely as the Word of God is true, but wrath unchangeable, tribulation and anguish, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed in flaming fire to take vengeance on thofe who know not God, and obey not the Gospel? Repent ye: even yet repent and be faved. But perhaps you are appalled by the apprehenfion that after fo long a period of flavery to the works of the devil, it is too late for you to repent. If these be your only alarms, hear for your encouragement the recorded. declaration of God himfelf. As I live, faith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Turn ye; turn ye. Why will ye die? Hear the words of the Prophet, Let the wicked man forfake his way, and the unrighteous man his paths: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Hear the folemn affurance of Christ himfelf: Him that cometh unto me I will in no wife caft out. To whom is this language addreffed from above? To you. You avow your belief of the Scriptures. While you credit the Scriptures, is it poffible for you to doubt of Chrift's willingness to re


ceive, to forgive, and to bless you, you have life will come uno him that you may eternal? Delay then no longer. Put not his forbearance to any farther trial. The time of your continuance on earth may be drawing to a conclufion. The hour of grace may be nearly paft. The last sands of the glass may be running out. Seize the opportunity which is yet afforded to Use the time which is yet in your power. Come unto the Lord Jefus, and you fhall find that he is gracious. Persevere from this time forward with godly fincerity in faith and love, and holy obedience: and all your former tranfgreffions fhall be blotted from his remembrance; and you fhall receive through his merits a crown of glory, an inheritance of blifs that endureth for ever,




On the Calling of St. Matthew.

MATTH. ix. 9.

And as fefus passed forth from thence, he
Jaw a man named Matthew fitting at the
receipt of Cuftom: and he faith unto him,
Follow Me. And he arofe and followed

BEHOLD, exclaimed the voice of Pro

phecy, ere it became filent for four hundred years; Behold the Lord whom ye feek fhall fuddenly come to his Temple, even the Meffenger of the Covenant, in whom ye delight. Behold He shall come, faith the Lord of Hofts (a). The Lord comes to his Temple. The Spirit of the Lord, he cries, is upon Me; because He hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: He hath fent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to pro

(a) Malachi, iii. 1.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »