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only of, the prophet himself and his friend Baruch, obeyed not the voice of the Lord, to dwell in the land of Judab. When Jesus Christ called the world to repentance, and manifested himself to be the Son of God by the most decisive miracles: how few were there out of the multitudes which" had flattered him with their lips who did not speedily prove that they had dissembled with Him in their hearts! How few who preferred to walk with him in the narrow way that leadeth unto life, compared with the crowds which thronged the broad road that leadeth to destruction! What is the case in the present day? I wish not to encourage myself or you in drawing invidious comparisons. But we cannot be blind to plain and notorious facts. We have in our hands the word of God, which describes the character of a true Christian, We have before our eyes the practice of the world. We cannot but compare the one with the other. When we compare them, we cannot but perceive how vast is the number of professed Christians, who evince little of the spirit of true Christianity in their principles and conduct: and therefore stand self-convicted as dissemblers in their hearts before the Most High. When you call to remembrance the multitudes N 4 even

even among those who styled themselves the followers of God, which in ancient times the finfulness and deceitfulness of the heart betrayed into hypocrisy: when you survey the multitudes of his professed followers, which in this your day the fame finfulness and deceitfulness render hypocritical before Him: have you not reason for serious dread that you may yourself be found a dissembler in his fight?


III. I proceed to lay before you, and to exemplify by some instances, a scriptural rule, which may assist you in discovering whether, if the Son of God were now to call you to judgement, you would be found dissemblers in your hearts.

Where your treasure is, faith our Lord, there will your heart be also {e). In other words, Whatever be the object which you judge and feel to be the most valuable; concerning that object will your heart shew itself to be the most steadily and the most deeply interested. Apply this rule to yourself. Examine yourself by it. It is thus that you may discover with absolute certainty whether your heart is fixed upon God, or whether it dissembles before Him.

(e) Matt. vi. 21.

ComCompare then the pains which you employ, the vigilance which you exercise, the anxiety which you feel, concerning worldly objects, on the one hand; on the other, concerning religion. When you hear your friend slandered or your parent injuriously treated j you are moved with indignation* you are distressed and afflicted. When you hear the name of God profaned; are you more deeply grieved? When you perceive . Him to be slighted and insulted; are - you more severely troubled in your heart? If not; you do not give the first place in your heart to God. You do but dissemble with him when you-profess that you love him above all things.

Again. When you receive a kindness, a great and an undeserved kindness, from a friend; you feel, I presume, warm and durable emotions of gratitude, and an earnest desire to render to your benefactor such a return, in proportion to your ability, as may be acceptable to Him. You are receiving every day from God blessings insinitely superior to all the kindnesses, which can be conferred upon you by any of your fellowcreatures. Do you feel then stilf more lively and durable emotions of gratitude to Him? Do you feel a still more earnest desire to render to Him through Christ that acceptable tribute bute of faith and love and holiness of life, which his grace is ever ready to enable you to offer? If not; you do not give the first: . place in your heart to God. You do but dissemble with Him, when you profess that you love him above all 'things.

Again. Your worldly prosperity is an object which youpursue with industry and solicitude. Are you still more diligent, more anxious, in pursuing the welfare of your soul? Are you more earnestly bent on growth in grace, than on the accumulation of property? Are you more eager to advance in religious knowledge, than in knowledge which will enable you to augment your wealth? Are you more watchful to seek for religious friends and connections, than for those which may forward your present interest, or that of your family? If not; you do not give the first place in your heart to God. You do but dissemble with Him, when you profess that you love Him above all things.

Again. You have various occupations to which you resort, as opportunities offer themselves, from inclination and choice. Among these is religion to be found? Does religion stand at the head of them? Do you delight in the study of the scriptures? Do you delight in public worship; in its adorations, its prayers, its praises, its thanksgivings? Do you delight in commemorating the atoning death of your Redeemer at his Sacramental table? Do you delight in meditations upon God; upon his goodness and mercy ; upon salvation through Christ; upon the hope of dwelling with Him la holiness and happiness hereafter? Do you delight tp converse privately with your family or with a Christian friend, on chefe subjects? Do you sind all other pleasures and satisfactions uninteresting and dead, when compared with those which have religion at their root? If not; you do not give to God the first place in your heart. You do but dissemble with Hun, when you profess that you love Him above all things. 1

I will mention only one example more. When you are informed of the events, which befal another person, you rejoice, if they are such as promote his worldly advantage; you larnent, if they impair it. Do you experience greater joy, when you are assured of his advancement in religion? Do you experience greater sorrow, if you learn that he has gone backward in the ways of righteousness? Do you judge of all changes in the situation of a person for whom you are interested, principally by the influence which they seem likely to have on his religious prospects? You hear that he has, entered into the state of marriage.


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