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evil: and be not aJhamed when it concerneth thy foul {c\.

2. Remember, secondly, that one sin naturally leads to another: that, if you indulge in small offences, you will be carried headlong into greater. You have drawn up the flood-gates: and who shall pronounce where the torrent shall be stayed? The whole of Herod's guilt flowed from his unlawful marriage. Observe him progressively advancing through additional degrees of iniquity. When John,rebuked him for having married his brother's wife, he disregarded the warning; but he offered no violence to the prophet, and permitted him to retire in safety. In a short time, his wrath became hot; and he sent forth and laid hold on John, and bound him in prison. Speedily afterwards he completed the measure of his crimes, and caused the innocent man to "be murdered. How frequently doth a similar progress occur! In the humbler ranks of life you fee a man beginning to be idle, and to neglect his business. This evil habit grows upon him. His time soon hangs heavy upon his hands: and he fills it up at the public house; at first going thither sparingly, but ere long, to be

{4) 1 Tim. vi. 12. Eph. v. 6. Exod. xxiii a.Eccles. iv. 20.

7 found found there almost every day. Now drunkenness is added to idleness. These two sins speedily make him poor: and he resorts to. dishonest means of gaining money: venturing at first only upon petty acts of fraud and ra-. pine; but presently growing bolder. iih wickedness, till justice overtakes him,'and he finishes his days in exile or on the gallows. The criminal of high life, in the mean time, pursues a kindred career, but in a, wider and a more splendid circle. He commences with fashionable extravagance. He steps forwards to fashionable profligacy. He grows hardened through the deceitfulness of fin. He becomes abandoned to selfiflinese, to iensu-. ality, to depravity, to fearlessness of God,; He lives an object of detestation; or dieshy the hand of the law, by that of a duellist, or by his own. Make your stand through divine grace against the beginnings of Jin;Tor you know not what will.be the end thereof.

3. Thirdly: contemplate the inconsistency,, the weakness and the corruption oP:humatv nature. Conclude not, because you have been repeatedly enabled by the Holy'Spirit of God to resist a particular temptation, that you may deem yourself capable of rellstiri^" it always. Herod withstood for a season the arts and importunities of Herodias." 'She'

"14" '-v&ited.

.' .. i . • . . .•.«.. i '. *

waited until she found a convenient time; renewed the attempt, and succeeded. The great enemy of man, who instigated this murderess and rendered her successful, is ever on the watch to betray you. He is waiting for the hour, when you shall no longer be on your guard ; or when you shall have grieved by a recent offence the Spirit of God; or when a concurrence of ensnaring circumstances shall heighten the allurements of sin. The birth-day of Herod shall arrive. Thy heart shall be opened to enticement. The year shall not revolve without bringing the convenient time. Mirth shall render thee thoughtless: or sorrow shall bow thee to despondence. Pride shall inflate thee with confidence: or sloth shall indispose thee to exertion. Then shall the temptation present itself afresh: perhaps in its original garb; or, if need be, in colours more attractive. What I fay unto you, I fay unto all; Watch. Rejfl the devil; and he will jlee from you. Be not high-minded; but fear. Let him that thinketh he Jlandeth, take heed lefl he fall. Strive to enter in at the Jlrait gate. Strive against fin : Jlrive according to His working, which worketh in you mightily. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you (d],

[J) Mark, xiii. 37. James, iv. 7, 8. Romans, xi. 2c. 1 Cor. x. 11. Luke, xiii, 14. Hcbr. xii. 14.. Col. i. 29.

Vol. I. U 4. Let

4. Let' me in the next place advert; W;W' consideration, which, however it rriay; in some measure have been implied in trte:preceding remarks, requires, on account' df ift high importance, to be expressly statcd'by itself. Tt is this: that nothing short of a feftled determination to labour to avoid all fin, joined with constant application to God> through Christ, for the influence of his sanctifying Spirit, can authorise you to hope that you shall preserve for a single hour a conscience void of offence. Nothing shdit Jdf this determination is rejigion. If yOu refiife; to surrender yourself wholly to God; y^ni are" "a rebel. If you refuse the unqualified surrender"of yourself to Him, and profess:ta be religious j you are an hypocrite. Thfe dominion "of the'entire heart, the sovereignty of the whole soul, the possession of thb affections in a measure so predominant that-your "tehdereft feelings for the earthly ;< objects which you hold most dear deserve, when placed in comparison with your love to ,.God and your Redeemer-, the denomination. 1 lof hatred («'): thisis the homage -re^uiredjfftom^ the disciple ©f Christ. - H.$rod,feared±fobn and observed him; and' when he beard him^he. did many thingsy *ixd heard him gladiyi;; But he detained his^ broiher-'s wife* IsQihtre^an

(e) Luke, xiv. 26. John, xii. 25.

Herodias

Herodias whom. thou wilt not put away? Is there some sensual gratification, which thou., wilt not; abandon? .Is there some unjawful^ gain which thou wilt not renounce ? Is there ridicule which thou wilt not encounter? Is there hardship which thou wilt not sustain? Thy pleasure, thine interest, thy reputation,' .thine-ease, thou lovest more ,^han thou lovest . Christ. Why boastest thou of thy partial obedience i; Of what avail are thy regular devotions, thy kindness to thy friends, thy liberality to the poor, thy usefulness to society ? . Thy heart is unsound, Before God thou art a^rebel and an hypocrite. What js thy language to thy Saviour ?" Behold these subor"dinate indulgences, which at.thy,commands "I disclaim. Be contented with rhe.facn-". "Ace. M Expect not the,.; surrender- of my u favourite object. Thou didst Jay idown^hy^ "life for my sake: but I will notjelinPjUUjb^ "this sin for thine." Sayest thou thn& to^ thy Savio^r^a-nd callest thou thyself.. his,. disciple-? -j ;.-.' Tp-.-; t-;'.tj?r-./r; -. ri .., .r~

.The propensity of the heart to se|f- delusion... exceeds all previous computations. Man is. c0stth}ua-lly devising by all conceivable methods to ascribe merit to himself: and at.theyvery^ titae when he confesses that he is regularly-^ proceeding in some wicked line pf conduct, is, -; ,.x •.X5 2 sts ,./ .Mi -j" ;. prone

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