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Do you at once feel more solicitous to enquire whether his wife be steadily pious; than whether she be of superior understanding, accomplished, and rich? He removes to a distant part of the country. Are you more grieved to learn that he is thrown into the hands of companions calculated to endanger his salvation; than to be informed that his new place of abode will probably be destructive of his health? He has lost his child or the wife of his bosom. Are your prayers that his affliction may be sanctified more fervent than those for its removal? You ponder on schemes and labour in exertions for his benefit. In all your plans, in all your efforts, are you more anxious to be made the instrument of strengthening him in faith and good works, than of forwarding his temporal success: of guarding him from those evils which war against the foul, than from those which assault the body? If not; you do not give to God the first place in your heart. You do but dissemble with Him, when you profess that you love Him above all things; that all which the Lord your God commandeth, you will do.

IV. My brethren! a part at least of the words of the prophet, as delivered in the text, is applicable to your conduct this day. By presenting yourselves in this house of God, you have in fact said to his ministers, Pray for us unto the Lord our God; and according unto all that the Lord our God Jhall say,so declare unto us and we will do it. "Offer up "unto God on our behalf the supplications "recorded in the liturgy of our church. And "in your discourse from the pulpit, explain "to us from the word of God our duty as "Christians, and we will perform it." Whether the remaining words of the text, the charge which Jeremiah pronounced against the Jews, Te have dissembled in your hearts^ be also applicable to you, is a question which it is not mine to decide. The truth is known to the Searcher of hearts. It is open and naked before the eyes of Him from whom no secrets are withdrawn. It is discoverable by you: by every one for himself. Examine yourselves, when you are returned to privacy at home, by that scriptural rule, which I have stated and endeavoured to exemplify for your instruction. Accompany that examination with humble prayer for the grace of the holy Spirit; that he may enlighten your understandings, awaken your consciences, and enable you to judge sincerely and impartially whether your hearts are stedfast with God, or whether you are dissemblers in his sight* The necessity, the supreme importance, of such an examination I would press upon you in the strongest language. Do I recommend it to any among you even with greater earnestness than to others? It is to those, who flatter themselves that they stand in need of it the least. I would detain you from it no longer than while I recal to your thoughts the vengeance which has overtaken those, who in former ages dissembled withpCJbd; vengeance ordained to be an emblem and a pledge of the certainty of that perdition, which shall for ever overwhelm all who dissemble with Him in their hearts. What befel the dissemblers of the old world ? They perished to a man in the deluge. What.befel the congregation of Israel, when they refused to render to God their covenanted obedience, and to- march forward at his command into the land of Canaan? They perished to a man in the wilderness, What befel the Jews wlio refused to listen to Jeremiah, and obeyed not the voice of the Lord to dwell in Judea? They were overtaken in Egypt by the king of Babylon, from whose power they imagined themselves secure; and were utterly and miserably destroyed. Concerning the dissemblers in the old world, God proclaimed j I wilL destroy

them

them from off the face of the earth. Of the dissembling congregation of Israel in the days of Moses, he solemnly affirmed; 'They shall not see the land., I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enters into my rest. Of the Jews who dissembled when they enquired concerning his wil^by Jeremiah, he pronounced; Behold I will fend Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon; and "willset his throne in Egypt. Ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place "whither ye desire to go and to sojourn. None shall escape. All these, predicted judgements were punctually accomplished. So shall be accomplished every word' of God. Where are all the unrepenting dissemblers of all past ages now? They are reserved in chains and darkness unto the judgement of the great day. Where' shall be all the unrepenting dissemblers of the present age? They shall be reserved in the same chains under the fame darkness to the fame judgement. All liars, faith the Lord ;— and of all liars who is the most guilty, but he who dissembleth with his God ?—All liars shall have their portion in the lake which bur net h with fire and brimstone (/'). Whoever thou art, who dissemblefi in thine heart with thy Judge; look forward to the hour that

(/) Rcv.xxi. 8.

awaiteth

awaiteth thee if thou abidest in thy dissimulation. Look forward to the hour, when those dreadful words, Thou hqfl not Vied unto men but unto God, at the found of which Ananias fell down dead, shall be to. thee the sen" tence of death eternal.

And is hope then excluded? Is the dissembling heart irreclaimable ? There is One, to whom nothing is impossible. There is One whose transforming power hypocrisy itself cannot escape. The preparation of the heart is from the Lord {g). In his hand the stone becomes flesh, the scarlet white as snow. In his hand all things are renewed. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: purify your hearts, ye double-minded Kh). Behold, we were born in fin; how shall we be cleansed? We are altogether vile: how shall we be purified? Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, faith the Lord of Hofs. I am with you, faith the Lord of Hofs. According to the "word that L covenanted with you, my Spirit remaineth among you. Fear ye not (/'). Allelulia! Glory be to thee, Lord God Omnipotent! Light is arisen on my darkness. I can do all things through Chrfl who flrengtheneth me. Do we yet lin

(g) Prov. xvi. 1. (A) James, iv. 8. (i) Zech. iv. 6. 'Haggai, ii. 4, 5.

ger?

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