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death, come with less power; the addresses of the divine word, operating in such wise modes of persuasion, come with less power: they all meet a more confirmed resistance, and strike upon a harder soil. I believe it will generally be found, and I speak both from experience and observation, that persons whose impressions, once perhaps considered really pious both by themselves and others, have gone away, and who after temporary self-denial return to worldliness and sin, cherish an absolute hatred of the memory of those impressions, and of the circumstances that inspired them, and exercise no common ingenuity in devising stratagems to banish it for ever from their minds. The ordinary fact may be forcibly expressed in the language of the sacred writer, which there is no impropriety in adapting to the form of positive assertion,—“he that is often reproved, hardeneth his neck :"—how dreadful, that man, from the very reiteration of mercy, should only become more daring in the spirit of defiance, and blasphemous rebellion against God! I ask those who are now listening to the word of the Lord, and who by their past conduct under the means of grace, have a fearful interest in the principles it announces,-have they not reason to tremble at the process which is constantly working within them? And 0, who that feels for human peril, can regard them but with intense and agonizing concern, and use earnest intercession with the Most High, that ere it proceed further, the energy may descend upon them which shall subdue, recover, and redeem !

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2. This disposition exposes to the signal retribution of future punishment. To the accusation of the text, are annexed threatenings of tremendous evils as consequent on the crime. The judicial result, arising from the previous transgressions, is at once stated. « Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth : and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.” will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them as their congregation hath heard. Woe unto them ! for they have fled from me; destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me.” “ Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away,”—you will mark how the same figure that expressed the insufficiency of the “ goodness,” is employed to denote the completeness of the desolation,-“ as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney."* It is with reference to these judgments, that the Almighty utters the exclamation—“0 Ephraim, what

shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee?Hespeaks as though he were in deep emotion while contemplating and preparing the woes his erring people had invited, and were about to endure,—anxious to spare, and yet compelled to strike. Here is the last quivering of the balance at the equipoise, ere justice flings her sword into the scale, and decides it for punishment and doom ; here is the last lingering light of love, ere it is extinguished in the blackness of darkness; here is the last whisper of mercy, ere it is drowned amidst the rising thunders of vengeance, and nothing is heard but the wild roar of the relentless and overwhelming storm.

* V.5; vii. 12, 13; xiii. 3.

The addition of temporal evils to those which are more distant and future, may not be expected systematically to occur, as during the Jewish economy, under the present dispensation of divine government. But there are sorrows infinitely more fearful than any which this world can witness, to which such transgressors as have been described are always exposed, and of which they must be anxiously warned. If you never know a higher spiritual state than what you sustain under the application of the text, you remain in a condition of peculiar exposure to the anger of your Almighty Judge. You do indeed mistake, if you imagine, as it is possible you may, that these occasional impressions do at all retrieve and mitigate the general heinousness of depravity, or that transitory signs of goodness diminish the ultimate amount of your sins. They do, in fact, form an aggravation of guilt. Is there no additional iniquity, think you, incurred, by approaching religion


as if you were about to embrace it, and then insultingly rejecting it, that you might turn again to folly,-by exciting hopes which you resolved to annihilate,-by giving occasion for the ridicule of the enemies of the cross,--and by hardening your own souls more and more against the claims and redeeming truth of the living God? O, do not deceive yourselves! I would strive to tear away the veil. I tell you,


ye, whose“ goodness has been as a morning cloud, and as the early dew that goeth away,”—if unchanged you die, and if unchanged you stand before that dread tribunal where an account must be rendered of all providences, all immunities, and all feelings, you will be found fatally wanting, and will hear a sentence of condemnation that will consign you to realms of everlasting despair. As true as that Jehovah lives, is it that he will thus execute the fierceness of his indignation. Abodes of sorrow await


where every past benefit will but be an instrument of torture; where memory and conscience will hold


the mirror of by-gone privilege and promise, of abused mercy, of forsworn and perjured vows, only that remorse may strike upon the soul its more than scorpion sting, and where grace and hope can never alleviate the wailings that will reverberate through the dungeons of outer darkness for ever and for ever !_Your doom will be more tremendous precisely in proportion to the means you possessed, and the signs you gave, of averting it :--can any doom be worse than

yours? When these " terrors of the Lord” are expounded, say if there be not an argument of mighty force why you should now beware, and why you should now hear the voice of God, lest you should be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, and lest he should swear in his wrath that you

shall not enter into his rest!

- That the remarks suggested by the inspired language discussed, are adapted for usefulness, I trust is not to be doubted. Even to those who seem most distantly removed from the situation described, who have been converted by the Spirit of God, and who are established in grace, they are not to be heard in vain. The subject may suggest consolation. They can deduce an interesting contrast between their own state, and that of which they have now heard. Their goodness has not passed away like a morning cloud, or like the early dew; it has been alike more re

r; fined and more decided ; it has been settled and abiding; it has borne the fruits of righteousness, and pledged a ripening for glory. What abundant cause for thankfulness and joy!

—And the subject may suggest caution. 6. Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall :" “ Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation :” “Hold fast the confidence, and rejoicing of the hope, firm unto the end.”


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But once more to appeal to those for whom this address has been particularly designed.

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