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wisdom know not God, into dreary atheism, every proclamation that he hath uttered in
| which we may count infallibly, is that Now, it is just because the successions which he hath proclaimed between sin and which take place in the economy of Nature, I punishment. The soul that sinneth it shall are so invariable, that we should expect the die. And here there is a common ground successions which take place in the econo- on which the certainties of divine revelamy of God's moral government to be equal-tion meet and are at one with the certainly invariable. That expectation which he ties of human experience. We are told in never disappoints when it is the fruit of a the Bible, that all have sinned, and that, universal instinct, he surely will never dis- therefore, death hath passed upon all men. appoint when it is the fruit of his own ex- The connexion between these two terms is press and immediate revelation. If because announced in Scripture to be invariable God hath so established it, it cometh to and all observation tells us, that it is even pass, then of whatsoever it may be affirmed so. Such was the sentence uttered in the that God hath so said it, it will come equally hearing of our first parents; and all history to pass. I should certainly look for the can attest how God hath kept by the word same character in the administrations of of his threatening--and how this law of his special grace, that I, at all times, wit- jurisprudence from heaven is realized beness in the administrations of his ordinary fore us upon carth, with all the certainty providence. If I see in the system of his of a law of Nature. The death of man is world, that the law by which two events just as stable and as essential a part of his follow each other, gives rise to a connexion physiology, as are his birth, or his expanbetween them that never is dissolved, then sion, or his maturity, or his decay. It looks should he say in his word, that there are as much a thing of organic necessity, as a certain invariable methods of succession, I thing of arbitrary institution and here do in virtue of which when the first tcrm of it we see blended into one exhibition, a ceroccurs, the second is sure at all times to tainty of the divine word that never fails, follow, I should be very sure in my antici- and a constancy in Nature that never is depations, that it will indeed be most punc-parted from. It is indeed a striking accordtually and most rigidly so. It is thus, that ancy, that what in one view of it appears the constancy of Nature is in fullest har to be a uniform process of Nature, in anmony with the authority of Revelation- other view of it, is hút the unrelenting exeand that, when fresh from the contempla- cution of a dread utterance from the God tion of the one, I would listen with most of Nature. From this contemplation may implicit faith to all the announcements of we gather, that God is as certain in all his the other.
words, as he is constant in all his ways. When we behold all to be so sure and Men can philosophize on the diseases of the settled in the works of God, then may we human system--and the laborious treatise look for all being equally sure and settled can be written on the class, and the characin the word of God. Philosophy hath ter, and the symptoms, of each of them never yet detected one jota of deviation and in our halls of learning, the ample defrom the ordinances of Nature-and never, monstration can be given, and disciples may therefore, may we conclude, shall the cx- be taught how to judge and to prognosticate, perience either of past or future ages, de- and in what appearances to read the fell tect one iota of deviation from the ordi-l precursors of mortality-and death has so nances of Revelation. He who so pointedly taken up its settled place among the immuadheres to every plan that he hath establish-tabilities of Nature, that it is as familiarly ed in creation, will as pointedly adhere to treated in the lecture-rooms of science, as any other phenomena which Nature has to the most impressive commentary that can offer for the exercise of the human under- be given on the reverence which is due standing. And, 0, how often are the smile to all his communications, even by deand the stoutness of infidelity seen to min-monstrating, that faith in his word is at gle with this appalling contemplation--and unison with the findings of our daily obhow little will its hardy professors bear to be servation. told, that what gives so dread a certainty to But God hath further said of sin and of their speculation is, that the God of Nature its consequences, what no observation of and the God of the Bible, are one that when ours has yet realized. He hath told us of they describe, in lofty nomenclature, the the judgment that cometh after death, and path of dying humanity, they only describe he hath told us of the two diverse paths the way in which he fulfils upon it his ir- which lead from the judgment-seat unto revocable denunciation--tha the is but doing eternity. Of these we have not yet seen now to the posterity of Adam what he the verification, yet surely we have seen told to Adam himself on his expulsion from enough to prepare us for the unfailing accomParadise-and that, if the universality of plishment of every utterance that cometh death prove how every law in the physics from the lips of God. The unexcepted of creation is sure, it just as impressively death which we know cometh upon all proves, how every word of God's immedi- men, for that all have sinned, might well ate utterance to man, or how every word of convince us of the certainty of that second prophecy, is equally sure.
death which is threatened upon all who And in every instance of mortality which turn not from sin unto the Saviour. There you are called to witness, do we call upon is an indissoluble succession here between you to read in it the intolerance of God our sinning and our dying—and we ought for sin, and how unsparingly and unrelent- now to be so aware of God as a God of ingly it is, that God carries into effect his precise and peremptory execution, as to every utterance against it. The connection look upon the succession being equally inwhich he hath instituted between the two dissoluble, between our dying in sin now, terms of sin and of death should lead you and rising to everlasting condemnation herefrom every appeal that is made to your after. The sinner who wraps himself in de senses by the one, to feel the force of an lusive security and that, because all things appeal to your conscience by the other. continue as they have done, does not reflect It proves the hatefulness of sin to God, and of this very characteristic, that it is indeed it also proves with what unsaltering con- the most awful proof of God's immutable stancy God will prosecute every threat un- counsels, and to himself the most trementil he hath made an utter extirpation of sin dous presage of all the ruin and wretchedfrom his presence. There is nought which ness which have been denounced upon him. can make more palpable the way in which The spectacle of uniformity that is before God keeps every saying in his perpetual his eyes, only goes to ascertain that as God remembrance, and as surely proceeds upon hath purposed, so, without vacillation or it, than doth this universal plague where- inconstancy, will he ever perform. He hath with he hath smitten every individual of already given a sample, or an earnest of this, our species, and carries off its successive in the awful ravages of death; and we ask generations from a world that sprung from the sinner to behold, in the ever-recurring his hand in all the bloom and vigour of spectacle of moving funerals, and desolated immortality. When death makes entrance families, the token of that still deeper perupon a family, and perhaps, seizes on that dition which awaits him. Let him not think one member of it, all whose actual trans- that the God who deals his relentless inflicgressions might be summed up in the out- tions here on every son and daughter of the breakings of an occasional waywardness, species, will falter there from the work of wherewith the smiles of infant gaiety were vengeance that shall then descend on the chequered-still how it demonstrates the heads of the impenitent. 0, how deceived unbending purposes of God against our then are all those ungodly, who have been present accursed nature, that in some one building to themselves a safety and an exor other of its varieties, every specimen emption on the perpetuity of Nature! All must die. And so it is, that from one age the perpetuity which they have witnessed, to another, he makes open manifestation to is the pledge of a God who is unchalige the world, that every utterance which hath able—and who, true to his threatening as 10 fallen from him is sure; and that ocular every other utterance which passes his lips, proof is given to the character of him who hath said, in the hearing of men and of is a Spirit, and is invisible; and that sense angels, that the soul which is in sin shall lends its testimony to the truth of God, and perish. the truth of his Scripture; and that Nature, But, secondly, there is another succession when rightly viewed, instead of placing announced to us in Scripture, and on the its inquirers at atheistical variance with certainty of which we may place as firm a the being who upholds it, holds out to us I reliance as on any of the observed succes
sions of Nature-even that which obtains phy, form a basis on which the believer can
will be reflected to him by the panorama To all men hath he given a faith in the upon earth. Even the buds which come constancy of Nature, and he never disap-forth at their appointed season on the leafpoints it. To some men hath he given a less branches; and the springing up of the faith in the promises of the gospel, and he flowers and the herbage, on the spots of is ready to bestow it upon all who ask, or ground from which they had disappeared ; to perfect that which is lacking in it--and and that month of vocal harmony wherethe one faith will as surely meet with its with the mute atmosphere is gladdened as corresponding fulfilment as the other. The before, with the notes of joyous festival; and invariableness that reigns throughout the so, the regular march of the advancing year kingdom of Nature, guarantees the like in through all its footsteps of revival, and provariableness in the kingdom of grace. He gress, and maturity, and decay-these are who is steadfast to all his appointments, will to him but the diversified tokens of a God be true to all his declarations--and those whom he can trust, because of a God who very exhibitions of a strict and undeviating changeth not. To his eyes, the world reorder in our universe, which have minis-flects upon the word the lesson of its own tered to the irreligion of a spurious philoso- I wondrous harmony; and his science, in
stead of a meteor that lurës him from the promise as equally steadfast, of "Lo, I am greater light of revelation, serves him as a with you always, even unto the end of the pedestal on which the stability of Scripture world"--and come even now to his own is more firmly upholden.
appointed ordinance in the like confidence The man who is accustomed to view aright of a fellowship with him, as you would to the uniformity of Nature's sequences, will any of the scenes or ordinations of Nature, be more impressed with the certainty of that and in the confidence that there the Lord of sequence which is announced in the Bible Nature will prove himself the same that He between faith and salvation-and he, of all has ever been.* The blood that was anothers, should re-assure his hopes of immor-nounced many centuries ago to cleanse tality, when he reads, that the end of our | from all sin, cleanseth still. The body faith is the salvation of our souls. In this which hath borne in' all past ages the inisecure and wealthy place, let him take up quity of believers, beareth it still. That faith his rest, and rejoice himself greatly with which appropriates Christ and all the benethat God who has so multiplied upon him fits of his purchase, to the soul, still perthe evidences of his faithfulness. Let him forms the same office. And that magnificent henceforth feel that he is in the hands of economy of Nature which was established one who never deviates, and who cannot at the first, and so abideth, is but the symlie—and who, as he never by one act of ca- bol of that higher economy of grace which price, hath mocked the dependence that is continueth to this day according to all its built on the foundation of human experience, ordinances. so, never by one act of treachery, will hel “Whosoever cateth my flesh, and drinkmock the dependence that is built on the eth my blood," says the Saviour, “shall foundation of the divine testimony. And never die.” When you sit down at bis table, more particularly, let him think of Christ, you eat the bread, and you drink the wine who hath all the promises in his hand, that by which these are represented and if this to him also all power has been committed be done worthily, if there be a right corres. in heaven and in earth--and that presiding pondence between the hand and the heart therefore, as he does, over that visible ad- in this sacramental service, then by faith do ministration, of which constancy is the un-you receive the benefits of the shed blood, failing attribute, he by this hath given us and the broken body; and your so doing the best pledge of a truth that abideth the will as surely as any succession takes place same, to-day, and yesterday, and for ever. in the instituted courses of Nature, be fol
We are aware, that no argument can of lowed up by your blessed immortality. And itself work in you the faith of the Gospel- | the brighter your hopes of glory hereafter, that words and reasons, and illustrations, the holier will you be in all your acts and may be multiplied without end, and yet be affections here. The character even now of no efficacy--that if the simple manifesta- will receive a tinge from the prospect that tion of the Spirit be withheld, thc expounder is before you—and the habitual anticipation of Scripture, and of all its analogies with of heaven will bring down both of its charity creation or Providence, will lose his labour and its sacredness upon your heart. He -and while it is his part to prosecute these who hath this hope in him purifieth himuto the uttermost, yet nought will he find self even as Christ is pure--and even from more surely and experimentally true, than the present, if a true approach to the gate that without a special interposition of light of his sanctuary, will you carry a portion from on high, he runneth in vain, and of his spirit away with you. In partaking wearieth himself in vain. It is for him to of these, his consecrated elements, you beply the instrument, it is for God to give come partakers of his gentleness and devounto it the power which availeth. We are tion, and unwearied beneficence-and betold of Christ, on his throne of mediator- cause like him in time, you will live with ship, that he hath all the energies of Na-him through eternity. ture at command, and up to this hour do we know with what a steady and unfaltering*This Sermon was delivered on the morning of hand he hath wielded them. Look to the la Communion Sabbath.
The expulsive Power of a new Affection.
" Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the
Father is not in him.”_1 John ij. 15.
There are two ways in which a practi- sensitive being suffers, and is in violence, cal moralist may attempt to displace from if, after having thoroughly rested from his the human heart its love of the world- fatigue, or been relieved from his pain, he either by a demonstration of the world's continue in possession of powers without vanity, so as that the heart shall be pre- any excitement to these powers; if he pos. vailed upon simply to withdraw its regards sess a capacity of desire without having from an object that is not worthy of it; or, an object of desire; or if he have a spare by setting forth another object, even Ged, energy upon his person, without a counteras more worthy of its attachment, so as part, and without a stimulus to call it into that the heart shall be prevailed upon not operation. The misery of such a condition to resign an old affection, which shall have is often realized by him who is retired from nothing to succeed it, but to exchange an business, or who is retired from law, or who old affection for a new one. My purpose is is even retired from the occupations of the . to show, that from the constitution of our chase, and of the gaming table. Such is nature, the former method is altogether in the demand of our nature for an object in competent and ineffectual—and that the pursuit, that no accumulation of previous latter method will alone suffice for the res- success can extinguish it-and thus it is, cue and recovery of the heart from the that the most prosperous merchant, and the wrong affection that domineers over it. Af-most victorious general, and the most forter having accomplished this purpose, Itunate gamester, when the labour of their shall attempt a few practical observations. respective vocations has come to a close,
Love may be regarded in two different are often found to languish in the midst of conditions. The first is, when its object is all their acquisitions, as if out of their kinat a distance, and then it becomes love in a dred and rejoicing element. It is quite in state of desire. The second is, when its vain with such a constitutional appetite for object is in possession, and then it becomes employment in man, to attempt cutting love in a state of indulgence. Under the away from him the spring or the principle impulse of desire, man feels himself urged of one employment, without providing him onward in some path or pursuit of activity with another. The whole heart and habit for its gratification. The faculties of his will rise in resistance against such an undermind are put into busy exercise. In the taking. The else unoccupied female, who steady direction of one great and engross-spends the hours of every evening at some ing interest, his attention is recalled from play of hazard, knows as well as you, that the many reveries into which it might other the pecuniary gain, or the honourable triwise have wandered ; and the powers of his umph of a successful contest, are altogether body are forced away from an indolence in palíry. It is not such a demonstration of which it else might have languished; and vanity as this that will force her away from that time is crowded with occupation, which her dear and delightful occupation. The but for some object of keen and devoted habit cannot so be displaced, as to leave ambition, might have drivelled along in nothing but a negative and cheerless vasuccessive hours of weariness and distaste- cancy behind it-though it may so be supand though hope does not always enliven, planted as to be followed up by another and success does not always crown this habit of employment, to which ihe power career of exertion, yet in the midst of this of some new affection has constrained her. very variety, and with the alternations of It is willingly suspended, for example, on occasional disappointment, is the machinery any single evening, should the time that of the whole man kept in a sort of conge- wont to be allotted to gaming, require to nial play, and upholden in that tone and be spent on the preparations of an approachtemper which are most agreeable to it. In-ing assembly. somuch, that if through the extirpation of The ascendant power of a second affccthat desire which forms the originating tion will do, what no exposition, however principle of all this movement, the ma-forcible, of the folly and worthlessness of chinery were to stop, and to receive no im- the first, ever could effectuate. And it is pulse from another desire substituted in its the same in the great world. You never place, the man would be left with all his will be able to arrest any of its leading purpropensities to action in a state of most suits, by a naked demonstration of their painful and unnatural abandonment. Al vanity. It is quite in vain to think of stop