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SERMON XIII. The importunate Friend, or the Efficacy of Prayer.
Luke xi. 5–10. Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at mido
SERMON XIV. Avarice and Dishonesty covered with the Pretext
of Prudence and Charity.
Matthew xxvi. 8.
Proverbs iv. g.
Jeremiah xxxi. 18. Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised as a bullock un. accustomed to the yoke : Turn thou me, and I shall be turned.
SERMON XVII. The good Man lying down in Peace, and sleeping
Psalm iv. 8. I will both lay me down in peace and sleep ; for thou Lord only makest me dwell in safety.
SERMON XVIII. The Saint employed in his Morning Devotions.
Psalm v. 3. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
I Cor. vii. 29.
James iii. 6.
among the members, that it defileth the whole body, and set. teth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell.
Gen. viii. 20, 21, 22.
clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burntofferings on the altar, &c.
SERMON XXIII. Impiety of offering to God that which costs nothing.
IL Samuel xxiv. Z And the king said unto Araunah, Nay, but I will surely buy it of thee at a price : Neither will I offer burntoffer. ings unto the Lord my God of that, which doth cast me nothing.
Gen. xlv. g.'
Proverbs iii. 27.
in the power of thine hand to do it.
Proverbs iii. 27.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God: They
are corrupt; they have done abominable works ; there is none that doth good.
HE first clause in this verse, correctly rendered, might be read thus ; “ The fool hath said in his heart, NO GOD.” It may be understood to express a wish that there were no God, as well as an opinion, that there is none. And, indeed, such an opinion
always presupposes the wish. No man ever disbelieved the existence of a Deity. unless his heart was previously disaffected to the character and government of the Deity.
There are few men, who are settled in the persuasion, that there is no God; but there are many, who in their hearts wish there were none ; or none who hates sin, and will punish sinners. This op.. position of heart is the ground of speculative unbe. lief. The reason, why fools say, There is no God, is because they are corrupt, and have done abominable works. If there is a God, he must be perfect; Vol. IV.
. he must approve of righteousness and hate wicked. ness ; consequently the workers of iniquity must be exposed to punishment. Hence in their hearts they wish, there were no God, and labor to believe, there is none.
We will inquire, to whom the charge in the text may be applied ; And then we'will shew their folly.
İ. We will, first inquire, To whom the charge in the text may be applied.
1. If there are any who really disbelieve, and directly deny the existence of a God, these stand fore. most in the class of Atheists. It is a question, however, whether there can be many, if there are any, of this description. The effects which we see, lead us up to the first cause; and this cause must be eternal, independent, intelligent, and powerful ; must possess all perfections ; that is, must be God. But then, it is one thing to believe in God, as the original creator and constant preseryer of the natural world ; and another thing to believe in him, as the righteous governor of the intellectual and moral world. There are some, who, while they acknowledge him in the former character, deny him in the latter. To say, that there is no invisible power, which made and sustains the universe, is, in effect, to say, that the universe is eternal, or the product of fate or chance. This is too absurd and unphilosophical for a thinking man to admit. But then there are those, who deny a future state of retribution, and profess to believe, that all men, if they exist at all, will be happy after death, whatever may have been their previous character. These though theists in a philosophical sense, are in a moral sense atheists. To say that God regards not our conduct, and will make no discrimination between characters, nor dispense rewards or punishments in a fugure world, comes exactly to the same thing, in a