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I mean not now to direct your attention to avowed infidels. I speak of persons who profess to know Christ, to believe in Christ, but by their works deny him. Even of these men a minute description is not necessary. They are in all points the reverse of those who believe. Their attendance on the public service of God, and on the other outward ordinances of Christianity is uncertain, languid and formal. The Sabbath is a burden to them; and they are happy when the close of it releases them from their constrained abstinence, if indeed they have practised abstinence, from worldly occupations. The Bible rests on their shelves: or the perusal of it is re. garded as a task, and is performed heavily, mechanically, superficially. Private prayer, if not neglected, is wearisome and lifeless. Follow them through the daily occurrences of active employment, and you discern no traces of a religious fpirit. You see them selfish, overbearing, sensual, contentious, worldly-minded. God is not in their thoughts. His name may supply the tongue with unhallowed exclamations : but his fear is foreign to the heart. They think not of their baptismal vow. They renounce not


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the devil and all his works, the vanities of this wicked world, and all the linful lusts of the flesh. They leave not all to follow Christ: in fact, they leave little for the sake of following him. Each individual reserves the indulgence of his favourite propensity. One is profane another unchaste, a third envious, a fourth dishonest, a fifth intemperate, a sixth covetous. Some unite several of these habits of wickedness. In their domestic relations they are harsh, capricious, uninstructive ; eager in every scheme or purpose connected with interest, or with pleasure ; lukewarm or indifferent in all the concerns of religion. Sin they represent as venial, because natural; or as of little moment, because God is merciful; or as sufficiently compensated by some attendant good actions or amiable qualities ; or as certain of forgiveness, if not extremely heinous, becaufe Christ has made an atonement. The comprehensive outlines of a general picture cannot in every point follow the variety of individual countenances. But in prominent features all the individuals of the class in view justify this representation. Why is it that they justify it? Because they believe not. Why is it that they do not believe ?


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Because by carnal gratification their heart is waxed gross; because by wilful inattention their ears have become dull of hearing'; 'because through averfion to the light their eyes they have closed. They are habituallyunholy in theirinclinations and purposes; and therefore have no real faith. They are the willing servants of sin; and therefore belong : not to God. They are Christians only in

name; and therefore are not Christians. 1. To which of the two classes does each of us belong ? This is a question to which our own bosoms, if we fairly examine them, will scarcely fail to give a true reply. Let me separately address to persons of each class some few words of admonition.

If on searching your hearts, under a deep conviction of the frequency and the extreme danger of self-deception, you receive, the answer of a good conscience towards God, witnessing the sincerity of your

faith;. be filled with gratitude to the Author of every good gift, by whom it is given unto you, as unto the Philippians; to believe on Jesus Christ (d). Thanks be to God, exclaimed St. Paul, for his unspeakable gift (e). Was this language merely the language of ni: lips? It was the language of his actions; (d) Philipp. i. 29. (c) 2 Cor. ix. 15.


the language of his love, of his zeal, of his patient endurance, of his unceasing toil, of his multiplied sufferings, of his triumphant death. Constrained by the love of . Christ, he lived unto Christ. Live


unto Christ, who has died for you also. Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure. Reflect what numbers have been found in all ages of the Christian church, who, after they had walked for a time in the ways of righteousness, have returned unto the world which they had abandoned, have become the slaves of sin which they had renounced. Demas, faith St. Paul, hath forsaken me, having loved this present world (f). That Demas, who had been thecompanion of the Apostlein his pilgrimage and his ministry, forsook him. How many

has the love of the world, the love of ease, the love of gain, the love of power, the love of human praise; persuaded, like Demas, to turn their backs


Chrift! Reflect on the peril attendant on every step, when, ceasing to climb the path which points towards heaven, the unhappy victim of temptation turns down the steep which leads to destruction! Reflect on the derris. ment: to the general interests of religion,

() 2 Tim, iv. 10.
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the scandal to the Christian name, the difcouragement of the pious, the exulting scoffs of the wicked, occafioned by the fall of those who have been considered as established examples of the faith! Be not highminded, but fear. Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed left he fall. Look back on the numberless instances of transgression which your lives have exhibited since

you have professed to be followers in earnest of Jesus Christ. Look back on the instances, equally surpassing number, of wasted opportunities, of neglected duty. Call to mind your coldness in prayer, your languid application to religious study, your leaning to the world, your proneness to give way to ensnaring customs, your unchastised tempers, your secret and besetting fins. Whatever may have been your Chriftian progress; do you not even yet discover within your heart so much of the power of evil, that you have reason daily to shudder lest you should be altogether overcome ? If you have hope that

you are a servant of Christ; rejoice in your hope : but rejoice with trembling. felf: rely wholly upon

without ceasing : be not weary of well-doing : and you shall be strengthened and upheld by all




Distrust your

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