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as when he calls upon them-"Hear ye now what the Lord saith ; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice: hear ye, O mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth ; for the Lord hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel. O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.”* This mode of speaking is not adopted, from any necessity that Jehovah should thus endeavour to acquire an influence over the minds of men, but because he would graciously deal with them according to their constitution as rational creatures, -himself using the style of address by which access is most readily to be gained to the understanding and the heart, in order to manifest the infinite tenderness of his nature, and to leave those who should yet reject the means of obtaining mercy, most evidently without excuse. In such manner, my hearers, does God deal with you, in the whole record of the sacred volume, and in the public ministry of his word ; and all the varied and reiterated appeals that are employed to awaken and impress you, are as the voice of your God invoking, “ Come now, and let us reason together.”

In the name of God, you are now summoned to consider whether any one thing can be alleged in favour of continued rebellion, and whether, from the circumstances in which you are placed, you ought not to make it your master object, that you may receive the forgiveness of your sins. The case is summarily this :—you are sinners whose offences against Jehovah are enormous and countless; his mercy has prepared, in the atonement of his Son, a provision by which entire remission may be obtained, with blessings of value unspeakable; if that provision be not embraced, and you still proceed in the course of impenitence and unbelief, you add increasing aggravation to your transgressions, and will be overwhelmed in remediless perdition,-because there is no other refuge, and because it is irrevocably sworn, that they who “ obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” We put it to you, what plan your duty and interest alike invoke you to adopt? Can you frame any reasonings, to justify your continuance in sin ? Are there any allega. tions you can urge, why you ought to refuse the proffered blessings of grace, and still nurse your souls in the impious hardihood of their revolt ? Produce them, if you are able,—and let us learn by what process of argument it is, that evil is preferred to good, death to life, cursing to blessing, hell to heaven. No, sinner! in every mind, where there is not the paramount desire to obtain the favour of God, and the happiness of immortality, an outrage is perpetrated against the reasoning

* Isa. xliii. 26. Jer. ii. 5, 31. Micah vi, 1–3.

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powers with which that mind is endowed; the advocacy of sin can be undertaken only by the suggestions of a self-murderous depravity ; and if beneath such an influence you live and die, -better would it have been for you, never to have breathed on earth but as the victims of moody madness, or vacant idiocy, and never to have possessed the privileges, or the responsibilities, of the moral universe of God! O, terminate all debate, by fleeing to that Redeemer who invites you to his arms, and dedicating all your powers, under the tuition of his good Spirit, to the cultivation of the principles which shall prepare you for final acceptance, and celestial glory! Thus answer the call of Jehovah—“ Come now, and let us reason together;” and thus inherit his promise—though your sins beas scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool !"

-I cannot conclude this effort to set forth to sinners the pardoning grace of God, and to plead with them, in his name, to apply for it, and to embrace it, without exhorting them against that subtle adversary of their souls-delay. Remember that the invitations of mercy cannot long continue to be heard. Opportunities are fast passing away, and you are advancing to the hour of irreversible decision and allotment. The moment may now be at the very point of arrival, when He who has so often been exhibited in the tenderness of his atoning love, shall appear on his

woe.

throne, surrounded by the awful splendours of judgment, and summon you to receive from his inflexible equity the sentence of irretrievable

At once, then,“ kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little !” To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts !” Procrastinate not a moment longer; believe the saving testimony now; wash in the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness now; seek for glory, honour, and immortality now :—and may it be that all shall be found at last among the triumphant hosts, who to him that “ was slain, and redeemed them to God by his blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation,” shall ascribe“ blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, for ever and ever!”

SERMON VI.

EXODUS xiv. 15.

-Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.

How interesting is it to reflect on the events of past ages, which have exercised an important influence on the affairs of the world! To trace the circumstances by which they were prepared for and introduced, to observe the agencies which were involved in their progress and accomplishment, and to ascertain the manner in which their results were developed, is to engage in an employment at all times beneficial, and frequently connected with improvement the most valuable the mind can desire. Besides many subsidiary advantages, hence are often illustrated, in a manner forcible and striking, the presence of superintending Providence, the principle and design of the government of God over his creatures, the subserviency of human passions to the execution of his own purposes, and the tendency of all occurrences to advance the consummations of eternal equity and grace. The recognition is easy, how eminently, by such objects of contemplation, are manifested and vindicated “ the ways of God to man.”

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