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unto eternity? Deal plainly with yourselves, Search out and sift your imaginations. . Af certain what is that twig of hope to which you are clinging. Bring forth to the test of fcriptural examination the secret fupport, be it what it may, which buoys you up with expectations that there shall at least be a para tial remission of the doom denounced against guilt, Yea and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right (c)? Bring it forth to a test which you behold with more complacent eyes, the test of reason. Is it ignorance that you ascribe to the Omniscient? Do you presume that He, to whom the future is naked . as the past, perceives not as yet His own purpofes? From such a delufion folly itself turns aside. It is not on such a plank that you trust to survive shipwreck. Do you then flatter yourself that He with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning, He who is the same yesterday, and to-day and for ever, will suddenly exchange stedfastness for-inconstancy, and abolish His fixed and pronulgated decree? You abjure this madness, “ If the destruction,” you exclaim, “ of the “ finner be indisputable until fickleness can "be imputed to the Most High; there re"maineth no refuge from despair.” And O fir (e) Luke, xii. 57.. . . A a 4
what refuge from despair remaineth to the persevering finner? Produce your hidden consolation. Disclose the bottom of your heart. Tardy and reluctant as is the confeffion, it is at length extracted. You conceive that the Deity has decreed from the beginning to relax from His threatened judgements: that while, for the purpose of aweing men into righteousness, vengeance arrayed in fiery terrors assumes her seat in the clouds; mercy is at hand to avert the most formidable of her bolts, and to shield the offender from all but that lighter chastisement, the fear of which would have been inadequate to the prevention of transgressions. Compare then thy theory, thou who adventurest to theorise concerning the counsels of thy God ; compare thy theory with facts. If in the denunciations of future vengeance a part only be intended for accomplishment, while the residue is empty air : whence is it that past menaces have been fulfilled to the uttermost? Why was the old world destroyed by the flood ? Why were Sodom and Gomorrah, and the incredulous fons-in-law of Lot overwhelmed? Why was Pharaoh cut off? Why did the Egyptian host perish to a man? Why was Jerusalem delivered untó Nebuchadnezzar to be uprooted from the foundations ? Why was
the the king of Babylon driven out to dwell and eat grass with oxen ? Why were the Jews extirpated by the Romans from their native land ? Proceed a step farther. Compare thy theory with the attributes of the Godhead. Is not thy God a God of truth and holiness? Yet thou chargest Him with premeditated falsehood. Dost thou expect His promises to be punctually fulfilled? Why? Because He is faithful and righteous And do not faithfulness and righteousness equally require the punctual fulfilment of His threatenings?, Do not promises and threatenings stand equally on the word of God? Is not the truth of God equally pledged in both ? Is it not equally falsehood to depart from either? Be not deceived. If we believe not, yet God abideth faithful: He cannot deny himself. The wicked Mall be turned into bell; and all the people that : forget God. The Son of Man shall send forth bis angels; and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire ; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. These sayings are faithful and true. These are the true sayings of God (f). Confider these things ; lest judgement and justice
take hold on you, and there be none to deliver. Close not your eyes against the warnings of the gospel. Be convinced that God will bring upon the wicked all the punishment which He has denounced against them as surely as He will bestow upon the righteous the glories, which Christ has purchased for them with His blood. Remember the fons in-law of Lot. Fly from the contagion of guilt: fly from sin, the certain forerunner of destruction. Life is set before you. Why will ye die?
On the Guilt of establishing unscriptural Hi. Principles of Conduct.
ISAIAH, V. 20.
Woe unto them that call Evil Good, and Good
Evil; tbåt put Darkness for Light, and Light for Darkness ; that put Bitter for Sweet, and Sweet for Bitter! THE steps by which error gains poslef- fion of the human mind are various. Sometimes it pushes its operations in fecrecy and silence. Sometimes it advances with a bolder aspect; and scarcely disguises its afsaults on the bulwarks of truth. At one period it resorts to measures promising immediate success. At another, it depends on the slow result of persevering artifice. Now it aspires not beyond a temporary triumph.