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of repeating his iniquity. Now turn to the man whom religion renders temperate. Observe his serene brow, the emblem of a peaceful bosom. Mark the healthinefs of his countenance, the alacrity of his step, See him preffing forward with cheerful industry the business of the day. See his family in tranquillity, and comfort, and harmony around him. Judge for yourself, whether the son of temperance or the drunkard be the happier man. Compare thus in detail the man who abandons himself to any other unlawful gratification with his neighbour whom the fear of God preserves from that fin: and the conclusion will be no less clearly in favour of religion. You will again discover that to be wicked requires the real sacrifice; that the , hard lervice is the service of guilt.
What more have you to object to the ways of religion? “ We are commanded to believe is every doctrine which is declared in the “ scriptures; and to practise every duty “ which they enjoin.” And do you place these obligations in the catalogue of hardfhips ? Is it a hardship to believe the word of the God of truth? Is it a hardship to obey the commandments of a wise and holy and merciful father : commandments all of them
of such a nature that, as you have already been constrained to acknowledge, tion to your obedience to them will be your present happiness? “ But our affent is re“ quired to doctrines which we cannot fa☆ thom.” Can you explain the growth of a blade of grafs ? Do you expect then to fathem the nature and the counsels of the Godhead? “But religion makes no allowances, “ She profcribes even little and venial sins.” Whence have you learned that any sin is little? Whence have you learned that any act of rebellion against God is venial ? Do human laws allow petty thefts, petty frauds, petty outrages ? Do not you know that petty thefts, if unchastised, advance to burglaries, petty frauds to forgeries, petty outrages to murder? How shall religion secure you from the blackest enormities otherwise than by prohibiting the first rudiments of guilt? How shall the perfect holiness of the Deity tolerate the flightest infraction of his righteous law ? " But Christianity calls us to con“ ftant watchfulness and prayer!" Those duties then you account hardships! You account it a hardship to be obliged constantly to watch against fins, which you know will make you miserable even in this world : and
a hardship to be required to be constant in prayer to God, by whom alone your watchfulness can be rendered successful, from whom alone flows every blessing which you enjoy. These duties, did you possess any true wifdom, you would range among your blessings. Would you be preserved from the deepest fnares and the strongest chains of iniquity? Watchfulness against temptation is indispenfable. Prayer, more especially, is your most valuable privilege. For, though a religious life brings no hardships; it is attended with difficulties naturally unsurmountable by man. It is an unceasing struggle against în and the author of sin. It is a continual mortification of corrupt appetites, a constant denial of selfish paflions. It is a warfare to which of yourselves you are utterly unequal. How great a blessing is it to be permitted at all times to apply by prayer to that almighty Protector, who alone can give you the victory, who is ever ready to hear the supplications of his people!
Thus then is it evident that the region of guilt is the land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof. Thus is it evident, on a just, comparison, that godliness has the promise of the life which now is. How much more has
it the exclusive promise of that which is to'la come (c)! Here you behold the grand fuperiority of religion. Here you.behold the everlasting triumph of the righteous. However distressed may be his situation in this world; however real and however great may be the sacrifices, however continual and fem vere the mortification and self-denial, to which religion binds him to submit; he reposes with full confidence on his God. He looks foward beyond the grave; and exclaims with the apostle, My light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work for me an exceeding and eternal weight of glory (d). He knows that, as long as he remains in the flesh, he is liable to fall; that if he forsakes his Redeemer he shall be a cast-away. But he walks humbly with his God, and therefore leans upon his mercy: he keeps his holy commandments, and therefore relies upon the continuance of his preserving grace. Would you attain to these glorious hopes, before which the world and its brightest prospects fade away: to this peace of soul, the delight of which they only who have felt it can comprehend? Follow the Lord fully. Remember the example of the rebellious Il(s): Tim. iv. 8. (d) 2 Cor. iv, 17.
råelites who listened to the ten unfaithful spies and that of the two stedfast followers of God. As truly as I live, faith the Lord, I will furcly do it unto all this evil congregation that are gathered together against me : in this wilder: ness they shall be confumed, and there they shall die. As truly as I live, so will I do to you who have murmured against me. Your car. cases pall fall in this wilderness. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, fave Caleb and Foshua. My fervant Caleb, because he had another fpirit with him, and bath followed me fully; bim will I bring into the land. The decree was punctually fulfilled. The ten 'spies were instantly struck with death. The whole rebellious congregation, one man after another, was consumed in the course of néarly forty years spent in wanderings in the wilderness. But after the expiration of that period their children and descendents, under the command of Joshua, who was assisted by his faithful friend Caleb, entered the land of Canaan and took possession of it. They believed in God: and he drove out and destroyed their enemies.
“ But was not Caleb,” you enquire, “ by “this time declining into the vale of years, " and incapable of enjoying the promised