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wish to go unobstructed to Heaven; do not desire to sit down contented, because you have some good hope that Heaven will be your portion; at least let it be your ambition to have an entrance ministered unto you abundantly into the Everlasting Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Be not saved as a wreck amongst rocks and quicksands and dangers, but get into the haven like a gallant ship, with every sail unfurled !-Yes, cherish the religion of the closet, converse often with your own heart, and hold communion with your God. Be exemplary in domestic religion, be an example to all around you, be regular in your attendances on ordinances; Wound not the heart of your minister, let him not have reason to mourn on your account, but may he joy over you, with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I could willingly dwell on this part of the subject, for I am sure you would suffer the word of exhortation, for I remember that in this life you are the subject of many trials; you are exposed to many difficulties, and though "the ways of religion are pleasantness," yet there are many snares placed around your path; you frequently have reason to mourn in Spirit, and to cry out under the influence of temptation "O, wretched Man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death!"—The cares of the world perplex you; riches make to themselves wings and fly away; Our dearest friends and relatives return to the dust from whence they were taken; your sorrows multiply with your years, and you sometimes say of human life, I loathe it, I loathe it, I would not live always!-but I have consolation for you-whatever may be the quality of your distress or the danger to which you may be exposed, I can as the Minister of God, afford you the richest consolation. God has offered you strength according to your day, He will sustain you, He will pour comfort into your souls; if you are laden with heavy calamities or whatever may be your trials in this world, God can make them all work together for your Good, and you may justly reckon with the Apostle "that the sufferings of this present life, are not worthy to be compared with the Glory that shall be revealed." Every occurrence tends to your advantage, therefore your very sorrows are sanctified, they lay up for you a rich larvest of Joy. Oh! yes, the time is coming, when you will look back on all the dangers which surrounded your path, and you will exult, rejoice and praise God for safe deliverance; you will admire His wisdom and grace that supported you. All is well, my friends, that ends well-This is the peculiar glory of that religion to which you have devoted yourselves, that whatever trials you may meet with in your progress, the end is Everlasting Glory; "there is laid up for you an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth not away."-Do you believe this?—Yes, you do, but you are still appalled by the dangers and difficulties of the way. Well, listen to what God has said-"fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God."—With such a promise as this in your hands, you can go even through the dark valley of
the Shadow of Death.-Thousands of Christians have experienced this rich consolation, and why should you dispair?-But what proportion of the present congregation can appropriate this part of my subject to themselves?-How many genuine Christians are there, this night in the presence of God?-There are some, no doubt, of a different character, and thus must I turn from the pleasing part of my duty, to one that is painful, and may God assist me, whilst I point out to the trembling BACKSLIDER, with feelings of affection, that he has dishonored the cause for which a Saviour died. Willingly would he sink into nothing and call upon some impenetrable shade to hide him; he knows that the eye of God is upon him; he has painful feelings in his own breast," return ye backsliding children for I am married unto you, saith the Lord."-There is more compassion and attention paid to a poor backslider in the bible, than to any other description of character. God seems to lay aside all His severity, all the just indignation which He might inflict upon them, in order to woo the wanderer, and solicit his return. How tender are His expostulations! Can you read the 2nd. chapter of Jeremiah without very peculiar impressions?— When you hear God addressing the Backslider thus, "Hast thou not procured all this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when He led thee by the way? And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor?— Or what hast thou to do in the ways of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know, therefore, and see, that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts." Surely He did not deserve this at thine hand. When He was walking with thee, and thou wast coming up out of the wilderness leaning on thy beloved amidst so much danger, what could possess thee to do so? Hast thou not procured all these feelings of wretchedness unto thyself. There is a natural timidity in guilt, a child who has offended a kind father dreads his displeasure, and though his soul yearns to experience his forgiveness, he durst not venture to ask it;-some such feelings exist perhaps in the hearts of many a poor Backslider, who may be present this evening-but God has given you encouragement, and has sent me this Evening as His messenger, to tell you that if you will return, He will make no mention of the past, He will behold you with affection, He will cover your offences with the mantle of his love; His language is, "Come now and let us reason together, though your Sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
But the majority of our congregation is not composed of Christians or Backsliders. There are a vast number who attend places of worship, who have no real concern about religion. They perhaps have religious companions and friends, and they attend with
them, or they know not how to drive away the hours of the Sabbath. But what is it that racks their feelings, and what is the source of their afflictions?-they go on in the way of ungodliness from month to month, and from year to year.-Ought we to neglect persons of this description? Ought we to treat them with unkind indifference? No; God forbid-our unconverted hearers are often our richest harvest; well then you have hitherto lived without hope in the world, you have attended to many sermons, and heard many ministers and there was never any thing that reached you. Listen to me for a few moments-listen to a stranger who wishes you well, who longs to pluck you as brands from the everlasting burning.— I shall speak of Sin, of Righteousness and of Judgment. If you were arraigned before an earthly tribunal, you would perhaps be filled with alarm; you would endeavour to find means for your defence, or, if you knew that condemnation must fall on you, you would be zealously employed to obtain pardon and mercy. 0, then, you are rebels against the government of the Almighty, you have long been guilty of High Treason against the King of Kings. You may perhaps say your guilt is not very atrocious, but it is not the number nor the magnitude of your crimes; it is the fact of the violation of His Law; "he that sinneth in one point is guilty of all," and is subject to condemnation, because "cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the Law to do them;" and what have you to say against this condemnation?— You have endeavoured to extenuate the guilt of your character, you have been ready to say what are our offences, what have we done, that so heavy a calamity as Eternal Death should fall on our heads? Is not this an undue severity, does not this reflect dishonour on the Great God?—Are criminals to judge of their own cause, are they to describe the quantity and quality of their punishment? Was ever such a thing heard of in human affairs? Your guilt is not so small as you imagine; The Law which you have broken is holy, just and good-What is it? "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy strength and thy neighbour as thyself." Such is the wisdom of it, examine it seriously. Who is the Being that commands your universal homage and supreme love? It is the God of Nature in whom you "live and move and have your being;" And what does he enjoin of you? That you should love that which is supremely excellent. Now you have never loved God; your whole life has been a scene of ingratitude and unkindness; He has not been in all your thoughts— you have dreaded to enter His presence, you have never prayed to Him; you have been hitherto too unmindful of the grand System of redemption. You have hitherto lived without God and without hope in the world, and are you dreaming that notwithstanding all this, you shall ensure His favor and be happy for ever? This is impossible! But perhaps there are some individuals who feel that they are condemned already, and they are saying, is there no hope?
Is this the message? Am I selected from the surrounding Congregation, and is such a message applied to me?-Whither shall I flee? Is there no hope? Do you leave me under the dreadful condemnation, and with the sentence ringing in my ears, " Depart ye cursed."-O, that I was warranted in believing that such enquiries as these were really made, and proceeded from the wounded Spirit of any individual in this assembly! With what heart-felt joy might I descant on righteousnes! May I take it for granted that there are some who are saying what shall we do, is there no way of escape for sinners?—I assure you there is; there is a way, that though you are guilty, you may become righteous in the sight of God, a method whereby God, " may be just, and yet the justifier of them that believe in Jesus.' I have a wondrous and an affecting tale to tell you, it is that of the Advent and Incarnation of the Son of God, who came to rescue you from your wretched conditition, and when there was no eye to pity, and no arm to save, He said let them go free; He who was placed above all responsibility, took on himself the penalty of our sins, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed." Yes, sinner," He died, the just for the unjust, to bring us near unto God."-His righteousness was perfect, His atonement was accepted, God the Father raised Him from the Dead, and gave Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of "JEsus, every knee should bow." Yes, He has completed your eternal deliverance, "there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus," and we are commanded as the ministers of God to go "into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." Yes, "it is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." He saves them in a way consistent with the moral government of God, He saves them from the wrath to come, He displays His own finished righteousness, His own perfect redemption. Is there nothing affecting in this Love of Jesus, is there nothing melting in the strains which proceed from His lips; "Behold you that pass by, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me, in the day of His fierce anger."-Oh! convicted sinner, hitherto careless and nnconcerned, can you be unmoved when a dying Jesus pleads, when He lifts His expiring eyes, and addresses you, "Oh! that thou hadst known in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace," before they are hidden from thine eyes;
Sinner, why so thoughtless grown,
Urged on by sin's fantastic dreams,
But there may be some callous heart, some breast harder than the adamant rock before me, well, but the Love of Jesus can change it! I have another message to deliver to you; I have no expectation of its efficacy; I have used the strongest persuasions, but I must summons you to staud at the Judgment seat of your offended Maker. There is a day of Judgment-the time is hastening on when Jesus shall descend from Heaven with all His holy angels, and how will you meet Him at the tribunal of Jehovah? He will not then come as the Lamb of God, but as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! You are perhaps saying to me now whilst endeavouring to get rid of the conviction, "Go thy way for this time and at a more convenient season we will call for thee;" Why do you make us thus uncomfortable? Willingly would I haunt you to every scene of wickedness and vice, and warn you under every new act of selfdestruction. When you are next tempted to sin and use means to get rid of this night's address, remember that I have warned you; O! bear it in mind that the day of Judgment will burst upon you, and the terrors of the last day surround you; and that the awful voice of the insulted Majesty of Heaven, will drive you to the Abyss where Hope can never come, and where the worm shall never die!
But there may be an individual more who may laugh at all this, he believes it not; he has rid himself of all vulgar prejudices! He is an INFIDEL! He has closed on himself the book of God; he has detected its fallacies, and spurns at the system of Jesus of Nazareth! Now I should expect him to appear before me this night as a hoary-headed sage, who had spent his whole life in years of painful thought! You have detected its fallacies, you have found out that it is no revelation !—are you certain of this? THIS after all may be true and you have found out no demonstration of its falsehood if it is true; and that it is, all nature proclaims aloud; it rises out of its own eternal character. The truth of this book
is written, where? In this bosom !-I defy any man to read the bible as he ought, and then rise up and avow himself an infidel. Infidelity is a moral disease. It is in the heart more than in the head; the whole head is sick, but it is because the whole heart is faint. I would not despise an infidel, I respect him as a man, I would meet him under that character; as a brother I would set down with him on the great subject of difference between us, and I would say, if the bible be true, then your condition is dreadful,