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gate, and still know nothing of it? have not striven to enter it, you are sins.
Yet, if you yet in your
Once more-we are taught, that the old way trodden by wicked men, is the way of the world, and a crowded way. Many there be, says Christ, who go in thereat. Says the apostle to the Ephesians, In time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom we all had our conversation, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. The narrow path, on the contrary, is trodden by a comparatively small number; few there be, says our Saviour, that find it. If then you would know in which path you are walking, inquire whether you have many or few companions; whether you are walking with the world, or contrary to it. If you find yourselves in a crowded road, then you are in the broad road. If you are walking with the majority of mankind, then are you most certainly walking in the old way, which wicked men have trodden.
2. Should any of you be convinced by these remarks that you are in this dangerous way, permit me to apply the subject further, by urging you to forsake it without delay. Consider, O consider, whither it leads, and whither it has led those, who followed it in former ages. Consider, too, what God has done to turn you from it. He has clearly described it in his word. He has there traced it,
as on a map, from its commencement to its fatal termination. All along the path he has set up way marks with the inscription, This road conducts to hell; while a hand, pointing to a narrow path, which opens to the right, has written over it, This path leads to heaven. Lest you should be so occupied by the cares and business of the world, as to pass these way-marks without noticing them, he has placed at each of them a watchman to warn thoughtless travellers, and to call their attention to these inscriptions; and lest any should rush on without stopping to hear their warnings, he has placed the Sabbath, like a gate, across their path to compel them to stop till it be opened, and to hear the warning voice. To one of these gates, my impenitent hearers, you have now come. It has compelled you to pause, a few moments, in your sinful career; and, to pass away the time till the Sabbath is gone, you have come to the house of prayer. Here is a watchman appointed by your Creator. I stand to call your attention to the inscriptions which he has recorded; to the marks which he has drawn of the various paths in which men walk. Sinner, stop. I have a message to thee from God. See it written with his own finger, This broad road leads to destruction! Look at the map which he has drawn. See here a way opening out of the gates of paradise, leading on, broad and crooked, through the mazes of the world, and terminating at the iron gate of the bottomless abyss. See written on its margin, Destruction and misery are in this path; it
leads down to the chambers of eternal death. This is the path of the openly irreligious. See close by its side another path, opened by the first murderer. See written on it, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is death. This is the path of the self righteous, the formalist, the hypocrite, and, like the other, leads to death. Sinners, you have seen this path; it it yours; it is the path in which you are now walking. You have also seen its end. Let it be yours then no longer. This day, this hour, forsake it, and enter that path, which opens to the right hand. Here you may see it; and the straight gate, which leads into it, opens to every one who knocks. Close by its side stands a cross; rays of light darting from it, illuminate and mark out the path. Just within the gate stands an invisible guide, with extended hand offering to lead, to assist, to support you; while at the termination are the wide open gates of heaven, from which issue a flood of glory, which you will discover more and more clearly, as you approach them. O, then, enter this path. Strive, strive to enter in at the straight gate.-Will you reply, I know not what to do. I am in utter darkness. I see not the gate, nor the way, nor the cross. Then cry earnestly for light. Let your heart be towards the king's highway, and light will soon shine upon your steps. Above all, take not another step in the fatal road, which you have hitherto pursued. Pass not this Sabbath, this warning way-mark, lest you never see another.
SINS ESTIMATED BY THE LIGHT OF HEAVEN.
PSALM XC. 8.
THOU HAST SET OUR INIQUITIES BEFORE THEE, OUR SECRET SINS IN THE LIGHT OF THY COUNTENANCE.
It is a well known fact, that the appearance of objects, and the ideas which we form of them, are very much affected by the situation in which they are placed with respect to us, and by the light in which they are seen. Objects seen at a distance, for example, appear much smaller than they really The same object, viewed through different mediums, will often exhibit very different appearances. A lighted candle, or a star, appears bright during the absence of the sun; but when that luminary returns, their brightness is eclipsed. Since the appearance of objects, and the ideas which we form of them, are thus affected by extraneous circumstances, it follows, that no two persons will form precisely the same ideas of any object, unless they view it in the same light, or are placed with respect to it in the same situation.
These remarks have a direct and important bearing upon the intended subject of the present discourse. No person can read the scriptures candidly and attentively, without perceiving, that God and men differ very widely in the opinion which they entertain respecting almost every object. And
in nothing do they differ more widely, than in the estimate which they form of man's moral character, and of the malignity and desert of sin. Nothing can be more evident than the fact, that, in the sight of God, our sins are incomparably more numerous, aggravated, and criminal, than they appear to us. He regards us as deserving of an endless punishment, while we scarcely perceive, that we deserve any punishment at all. Now whence arises this difference? The remarks, which have just been made will inform us. God and men view objects through a very different medium, and are placed with respect to them in very different situations. God is present with every object; he views it as near, and therefore sees its real magnitude. But many objects, especially those of a religious nature, are seen by us at a distance, and, of course, appear to us smaller than they really are. God sees every object in a perfectly clear light; but we see most objects dimly and indistinctly. In fine, God sees all objects just as they are; but we see them through a deceitful medium, which ignorance, prejudice and self love place between them and us.
Apply these remarks to the case before us. The Psalmist, addressing God, says, Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. That is, our iniquities or open transgressions, and our secret sins, the sins of our hearts, are placed, as it were, full before God's face, immediately under his eye; and he sees them in the pure, clear, all-disclosing light