« AnteriorContinuar »
which the truths of religion often make upon your minde, remember that, at every step in your progress, you are losing more and more the dispositions most favourable to duty, and rendering the heart less susceptible of the influences of the Spirit of God. Every day is bringing you nearer to that deplorable state of hardness and blindness, when instructions and corrections, means and opportunities, shall have lost all their power; and God, justly offended at the obstinacy of the sinner, pronounces upon him the fearful sentence of his perpetual dereliction, and his final perdition. Awake, then, earnestly to improve the inestimable opportunities which you now enjoy; opportunities that, misimproved, will never return. Prevent the danger of being forsaken of Almighty God, by a speedy and diligent application to the great work of life, the salvation of your souls. If you seize the present opportunity to resist the beginnings of sin, if you study to devote your early life to your Creator, and Redeemer, you have every thing to hope from the aids of his grace; but if you now resist the earnest and repeated calls of divine mercy, you have every thing to fear from the hardening influence of time, as well as from the growing infirmities of nature, in advancing life, which disables men from contending against the strength, and deep-rooted power of their sinful habits. Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not and the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. When your strength shall be turned into weakness, and even the grasshopper shall be a burden.
5th. In the last place, this subject addresses itself in an awful tone to those who have long rejected the offers of mercy in the gospel; and, by the protracted custom of sinning, have hardened themselves against its instructions and reproofs, against its compassionate invitations, and its most affecting warnings. Could we, indeed, distinguish those who have seared their consciences, and who are delivered over of God to work all uncleanness with greediness, sealed up by his sentence to eternal -death, it would be in vain to address them: they have chosen their delusions: their hearts are as adamant ; the dry bones in the valley of Ezekiel's vision could as soon be awakened into life by the voice of man. But are there not some old and habitual offenders, who, though buried in deep insensibility and security, may not yet be beyond the reach of divine grace? But are you not every day approaching nearer to that fatal boundary which may forever separate you from the hope of salvation? Alas! how many means may yet be suffered in the forbearance of God to remain to you? How long may the light be yet permitted to shine around you? How near may the sun of righteousness be to his setting forever? To some of those who hear me, this may be the last ray of light whicb, by his grace, may ever be darted into your soul; this may be the last call which, in his righteous and holy providence, you shall ever enjoy. Oh! that that omnipotent voice which, in the beginning, said let there be light, and there was light, would graciously shed, along with our words, the powerful and creative light of divine truth into your hearts, to form them anew in Christ Jesus! Oh! that that voice which sball swell the trump of the arch-angel, that shall call the dead to judgment, would awake your consciences from the mortal sleep of sin, and bring them, before it be too late, to consideration and reflection! If I could hope, with regard to any such sinners who hear me, that
these solemn and interesting truths would so touch your hearts as to arouse you from your security, and make you sensible of your danger, with pleasure would I point you to an all-sufficient Saviour who is able, even in this extremity of your case, to deliver you from going down into the pit; who can pierce the most secure and dead conscience, and soften the most obdurate heart, who can change and sanctify the most unclean spirit, and pluck the most atrocious offender, as a brand from the burning. Possibly, the repetition of these offers of pardon and salvation, which have been so often rejected and contemned, may only tempt you still more lightly to esteem them; yet, although you should again trample them under your feet, I call God, and your own souls to witness this day, that salvation has been once more within your offer.
THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, THE LIGHT
OF THE WORLD.
Matt. v. 14. Ye are the light of the world : A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
BY ROBERT FINLEY, A. M.