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or whether you are diffemblers in his fight. Jean 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 with God; 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 pérished 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 who 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 diffemblers in the old world, God proclaimed; I will destroy

them

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them from off the face of the earth. Of the dif-
sembling 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 enter into my reft. Of the Jews
who dissembled when they enquired concern-
'ing his will by Jeremiah, he pronounced ; Be-
bold I will send 'Nebuchadnezzar the king of
Babylon; and will set his throne in Egypt. re
shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the
pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go
and to fojourn. None shall. escape. All these
predicted judgements were punctually ac-
complished. So shall be accomplished every
word of God. Where are all the un-
repenting dissemblers of all past ages now?
They are reserved in chains and darkness un-
to 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 same 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
bave their portion in the lake which burneth
with fire and brimstone (f). Whoever thou
art, who diffembleit in thine heart with thy
Judge; look forward to the hour that
(f) Rev. xxi. 8.

awaiteth

awaiteth thee if thou abidest in thy diffimulation. Look forward to the hour, when thofe dreadful words, Thou hast not lied unto men but unto God, at the sound of which Ananias fell down dead, shall be to thee the fentence of death eternal. '

And is hope then excluded? Is the diffembling 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 (3). In his hand the stone becomes flesh, the scarlet white as snow. In his hand all things are renewed. Cleanse your hands, ze sinners: purify your hearts, ye double-minded ). 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 Hofts. ? am with you, faith the Lord of Hosts. According to the word that I covenanted with you, my Spirit remaineth among jou. Fear ye not (i). Allelulia! Glory be to thee, Lord God Omnipotent! Light is arisen on my darkness. I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me. Do we yet lin

(8) Prov. xvi. I. (b) James, iv. S. · (i) Zech. iv. 6. Haggai, ii. 4, 5.

ger?

OVE

ger? Come ze, and let us 'walk in the light of the Lord' (k). Let us be wise, while there is yet time for wisdom. Let us rend our hearts and turn unto the Lord: let us fear and serve him in fincerity and truth. Let us defer not to pay our vows unto the Most High. Let us join ourselves unto the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten (2).

(k) Philipp. iv, 13. Ifaiah, ii. 5. (1) Joel, ii. 13. Joshua, xxiv. 14. Eccl. v. 4. Jerem. 1. 5.

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Voi. I.

SERMON IX.

On the Nature and the Consequences of

Excuses for not giving up the Heart to
Religion.

Luke, xiv. 18. And they all with one Consent began to make

Excuse. INSTRUCTION poffeffes peculiar force, + when derived from incidents which interest the mind. Facts feize upon the meinory more powerfully than precepts. The recollection of the former recalls the remembrance of the latter. The precept, thus recalled, presents itself under characters of animation and propriety, which confer additional energy on its native importance.

It was the usual practice of our Saviour, when favourable opportunities arose, to take advantage of circumstances immediately palfing before the eyes of his followers for the

purpose

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