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this shall not be his case? And if it should, what will become of his distant prospect of repentance? How can he avoid being doomed to the exquisite tortures of the damned, since Christ has told us, that except we repent, we shall all likewise perish?
But supposing that God should give us both time and warning to repent, bò afflicting us with a lingering death-bed sickness, we shall find enough to do to possess our souls in a decent patience, without fretting, murmuring, or charging God foolishly. Therefore, however his conscience may sting the sinner with rê. morse, yet he will have no time to refoệm his ill conduct, and put his good resolutions into practice : without which, there can be no sure evidence that his repentance is sincere; and it is sincerity only that can make it effectgal. The divine mercy, to be sure, is inexhaustible; and there is no knowing how available a deathbed repentance may be, as it is the last shift of a poor unthinking mortal; but this we know, that such a state is extremely dangerous and uncertain.
Let us all, then, my brethren, look about us in time, and provide for this day of calamity; as well knowing that there is no work, no device, no repentance in the grave, whither we are all hastening. And let not the men of spirit and mettle laugh at, and despise such a warning as this; for however wanton and negligent, however bold and intrepid. they may be, now in their day of health and prosperity; yet the time will come when the scene must alter, and the curtain of death will be ready to fall; at which time, assuredly, they will be obliged to think more seriously; and with too much reason perhaps, cry out, (in the language of Job) is Oh that we were as in the months past, as we were in the days of our youth.”
But God grant that we may all be persuaded to a speedy repentance, and by that means prevent such an unavailing wish! through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, &c. Amen.
IMPORTANCE OF THE QUESTION
THE YOUNG MAN IN THE GOSPEL,
:: ETERNAL LIFE. .
MATTHEW xix. 16.
And behold, one came and said unto him, good
master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life.
It is a sign of a wise and understanding heart, and displays a very hopeful disposition, in one that asks å discreet and pertinent quesiton; especially if he makes choice of a person that is likely to answer it with truth and propriety. These qualifications we find are centered in the iman vin my text. He does not come with a design of shewing his learning. and abilities, and to catch aur Saviour in his words, as the Pharisees and Herodians did, but with a sincere desire of being instructed in the will of God, as being sensible that was the only way to guide him to life and immortality. And (for the accomplishment of this great end, he applies to the Son of God, who he knew came into the world to give men a more amiable idea of religion and virtue.
In the context are several very remarkable things, which constitute the character of the .