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hear an inward voice upbraiding you for S having funk and degraded your character so far below that of many of your equals around you ?—My friends, what was this but the voice of God, speaking, as the Governor of his creatures, within your heart; testifying loudly that your course of life was displeasing to him; and warning you of punishments that were to follow? If his displeasure against you is already begun to be testified, can you tell where it is to stop, or how long it may continue to pursue you throughout future stages of your existence? Who knoweth the power of his wrath ?—-To this awful, this warning voice, will you not be persuaded reverently to listen? Impressed by the dread authority which it carries, shall you not fall down on your knees before your Maker, imploring his mercy to pardon your past offences, and his grace to rectify your future way?
Such ought to be the effects of the consideration of God as the Governor of I z th«
SERM. the world. It leads to thoughts of a veu-v-w ry serious nature. When we regard the work of the Lord, and contemplate him as the Author of the universe, such contemplation prompts devotion. But when we consider the operation of his hands in providence, and contemplate him as the Governor of mankind, such contemplation prompts humiliation before him for offences committed. The former addresses itself to the ingenuous sentiments. that are left in the heart; and awakens a fense of our unworthiness, in neglecting* the Author of nature, amidst our. riotous pleasures. The latter addresses itself to our regard for safety and happiness; and awakens fear and dread, from consciousness of the guilt we have contracted. Hence springs up in every thoughtful mind, an anxious concern to avert the displeasure, and regain the favour of that Supreme Being to whom we are all subject. This, among unenlightened nations, gave rife to sacrifices, expiations, and all the rites of humble, though superstitious worship. Among
nations, who have been instructed in S true religion, sentiments of the fame nature pave the way for prayer, repentance, faith, and all those duties, by means of which we may hope, through a divine Mediator and intercessor, to be reconciled to heaven. Natural and revealed religion here appear in concord. We behold the original dictates of the human heart laying a foundation for the glad reception of the comfortable tidings of the gospel.
I Have thus endeavoured to (hew in what manner, by regarding the work of the Lord, and considering the operation of his hands, we may prevent the dangers arising from a thoughtless indulgence of pleasure; we may be furnished with an antidote to the poison which is too often mixed in that intoxicating cup. Human life is full of troubles. We are all tempted to alleviate them as much as we can, by freely enjoying the pleasurable moments which Providence thinks fit to allow
M. low us. Enjoy them we may: But, if we would enjoy them safely, and enjoy them long, let us temper them with the fear of God. As soon as this is forgotten and obliterated, the found of the harp and the viol is changed into the signal of death. The serpent comes forth from the roses where it had lain in ambulh, and gives the fatal Jling. Pleasure iri moderation is the cordial, in excess it is fche bane, of life>
On the Presence of God in a Future
Thou wilt/hew me the path of life: In thy
THE apostle Peter, in a discourse S E R M.
• Actsii. 25.—*8.