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world, where lies thine inheritance, where reigns thy Saviour. Instead of minding, with supreme regard, the things of earth, look and aim at the things of heaven, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
3. Let us examine ourselves, in order to ascertain whether we have a title to this blessedness, and a fitness for its enjoyments.
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John iii. 3. Into that world nothing can enter that defileth. 6 Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” Heb. xii. 14. An admission into the kingdom of glory is only granted to those who have been acquitted and approved before the judgment-seat of Christ. When before him shall be gathered all nations, the great question to be decided respecting each of us will be, Have we believed on Jesus to the saving of the soul? Now, as-faith works by love, and love is best evinced by actions, a scrutiny will be instituted, and an appeal will be made to every man's works.
To those who have displayed “the work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope," the King will say, “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matt. xxv. 34.
But to those whose lives shall have evinced an entire absence of love to the Lord Jesus, and consequently the entire absence of faith in his righteousness and his atonement, shall those words of appalling and tremendous denunciation be addressed, “ Depart from me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels—I banish you from the presence which you never loved. I exclude you from the blessedness you never sought. I abandon you to the darkness and the wretchedness from which you have not even attempted to escape. I consign you to those regions of despair, where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched."
Behold, then, the blessing and the curse ! You have now to make a choice, on which an eternity is suspended. If you disregard the blessing, or continue to delay the choice, better would it have been for you, if you had never heard of heaven. The thought of felicity for ever lost, will be the most agonizing of self-inflicted torments: I beseech you then,
a consideration of the miseries of hell, the joys of heaven, and the duration of eternity: I beseech you by the mercies of God, by the love of Christ, and by the promise of the regenerating Spirit, that you neglect not the great salvation.
THE PLEASURES OF EARLY PIETY.
“ All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field-In the
morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.” Isa. xl. 6; Psa. xc. 6. The day of human life, then, is chiefly to be regarded and valued as introductory to the ever-during existence which succeeds. The question which we should propose, therefore, with supreme solicitude, is not, What will promote our present gratification; but what will be conducive to our future felicity? Were there even strong grounds of apprehension, that joy and gladness could not be reasonably expected in the paths of religion, still if the end be, without doubt, happiness and glory, the brand of folly would be imprinted on the man and on the youth, who should neglect to pursue that end, on account of the discouragements of the way which leads to its attainment. No temporary evils can be so formidable, no transient sacrifices can be so costly, as to justify the abandonment of the pursuit of eternal blessedness. But is it indeed true, that while the end is attractive, the gloom of the way repels? Is it true, that religion diffuses melancholy and excludes delight? Is it true, that habitual preparation for death requires the surrender of all the pleasures of life? Or, may we not confidently assert, and fearlessly undertake to prove the very reverse? Will not the test of experience confirm the declaration of the wisest of men, that the ways of wisdom,“ are ways of pleasantness, and that all her paths are peace?” Prov. iii. 17.
It is on the deep persuasion of this well-established fact, that
the admirable petition proceeds, which appears first to have been presented at the throne of grace by “ Moses, the man of God," and which I would now most affectionately recommend to the young: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.-0 satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”' Psa. xc. 12, 14.
There are two propositions, in favour of which I am anxious to obtain, not only the assent of your understandings, but also the full concurrence of your hearts: the first is, that true religion is a source of the highest satisfaction and the purest delight, which it is possible for us to enjoy; the second is, that there are the strongest inducements to seek these pleasures in early life.
First. Let me endeavour to convince you, that true religion is a source of the highest satisfaction and the purest delight, which it is possible for us to enjoy.
The prayer of Moses accords with the prayer of the publican. They both breathe the same spirit; they both implore the same blessing. “O satisfy us early with thy mercy;" is the prayer of the one: “God be merciful to me a sinner,” is the prayer of the other. The venerated legislator and the despised publican both occupy the same ground; both supplicate the same favour. It is the only ground which we can occupy; it is the greatest blessing we can ask. You, my young friends, cannot be altogether strangers to the
voice of conscience. It has sometimes arraigned you before its tribunal. It has compelled the plea of “Guilty." It has pronounced the sentence of condemnation. It has set in array becore you the terrors of the Almighty. It has warned you to flee from the wrath to come. It has whispered that appalling question, “Who knoweth the power of his anger?” Psa. xc. 11. It has added, Who can dwell with the devouring fire? who can dwell with everlasting burnings? Isa. xxxiii. 14. It has prompted the prayer for mercy; and nothing but some hope of mercy could allay your fears. Think then of the mercy which the gospel reveals. Think of the mercy-seat on which has been sprinkled the blood of the sin-atoning sacrifice.' Think of the love and grace of Him whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, that he might be just, while at the same time the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus. Rom. iii. 25, 26. Is there not a joy unspeakable in beholding by faith a reconciled God-a suffering, an interceding, and a reigning Saviour ? You cannot but be happy, if, with a conscience tranquillized and purified by the blood of Jesus, you can say with the enraptured prophet, “ O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation: I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy” will I “ draw