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ferings, the deprivations, the calamities of this life, and the fear of death, which constitutes a state of ease, which, could it be purchased, would be cheaply purchased by the wealth of worlds. "This is the victory which overcometh the world, even your faith." Is there any thing in this world which a rational man, in the prospect of the many calamities which are incident to this present state of things, would not give to be able to say, that he had within him a principle which enabled him to rise superior to them all? Who would not sacrifice almost every thing to have embodied in his own Christian experience the language of the Scriptures-" Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee?" It is written, that "all things shall work together for good to them that love God;" and again, all "things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours.' all are yours." If the possession of a truly religious character does not in its own nature exempt an individual from the calamities of life, it does what is on the whole far more effectual, and far more really elevating to his character, it enables him to bear them. It brings a few clouds to mitigate the strong light and dangerous heat of prosperity, and it sheds the beams of celestial sunshine to enliven the darkest clouds of adversity which the discipline of God, as a Father, may see fit to bring over him. There is nothing fabled, nothing merely gratuitous in the declaration, that such a principle of religion as Jesus Christ plants in the heart, is the true philosopher's stone; it does substantially turn every thing to gold. He that is wise then, is wise for himself, even was there no hereafter.
2. But, secondly, the individual who truly gives his heart to God, and receives the Lord Jesus Christ as a Saviour, and follows him in the regeneration, is wise for himself, because he gains the prospect of a saved eternity. The truly converted man is the only being on the face of the earth who has a rational hold upon the blessedness of eternity; other men may feed on ashes, and believe a lie; other men may deceive themselves, and be deceived by others; but of all the countless generations of men, the righteous is the only one who has hope in his death. His is a security which is based on no uncertain speculations, but on the word and the veracity of God. Amidst the ills of life there may have been many a man willing to exchange the realities of a suffering condition for what he may deem the uncertainties of another world, but what in this world is there which is worth so much as the Gospel-founded, the graceimplanted ability to say, "I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better?" "To me to live is Christ, to die is gain?" "I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded, that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him unto that day?"-The man then who is wise, is wise for himself, because he gains all that is valuable of time, and he gains a secured hold on the happiness of eternity. "The eternal God is his refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." His tower of safety is the munition of rocks. He is the one represented by our Lord when he says "Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that
house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."
III. Now, let us observe the contrast to this, which is my third topic-" but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it."
To scorn, is to despise religion, to scoff at, to ridicule, to reject, to neglect it. He who will not repent, is a scorner. He who is not willing to lay hold of the hope set before him in the Gospel, is a scorner. He who puts off the concerns of religion, is a scorner. He who does not on the call of God, at once, without disputation and without opposition, submit himself as a lost and ruined sinner to the method of God's mercy in Christ Jesus, is a scorner. He who is selfrighteous, is a scorner. He who is not ready to say, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" is a scorner. In fine, every careless, unconcerned, impenitent individual, male or female, young or old, who hears the calls of God, and refuses to obey, comes under the appellation of the scorner of wisdom. Now, the language of God through the proverb is-" But if thou scornest, thou alone shall bear it." Alone-observe, no one is to share it. Whatever the scorner is to bear, he is to bear it alone. All its energy will be concentrated in him; he will be the living, eternal, undivided supporter of that which he is to bear. The folly and the danger of this will be seen' then, if we consider what the scorner is to bear. 1. He is to bear his own sins.
2. His own sorrows.
3. The scorn of earth, and heaven, and hell; and if this is not enough, he will bear,
4. His own eternal self-reproaches.
1. The scorner-the neglecter of religion is to bear his own sins. The real Christian, my brethren, has this one peculiar characteristic; his sins have been borne by the Saviour in whom he trusts. He has believed God, and it has been accounted unto him for righteousness. He has received the benefit of God's reconciling mercy.
The scorner has relinquished all claims upon the precious Saviour and the precious promises of the Gospel he consents to bear the weight of his own sin, a weight which had already been sufficient to bring down the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven to tabernacle in human flesh, to suffer and to die; a weight which spread a gloom more sable than the night over the scenes of Gethsemane and Calvary. Thus saith the Lord-" He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." The careless, the unconcerned, the scorner, is the man who, having no vital interest in Jesus Christ, walks abroad with the unmitigated curse of God upon his defenceless brow. He is without a Saviour. He will pass through this world without a Saviour; and stand at the bar of God without a Saviour. This will the scorner bear-bear his own sins. Can he bear up against the weight of sin, before a sin-hating, and a sin-avenging God? Careless sinner, what art thou doing; venturing to bear on thine own shoulders a weight which is sufficient to crush a world? Flee to Jesus Christ, who alone is able to save.
2. As the scorner is obliged to bear the weight of his own sins, so will he be obliged to bear the weight of his own sorrows. We are told, that "man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward;" and there
is no individual experienced in the calamities of human life, but who must know that it is a difficult matter to sustain them. It is a matter of experience, that amidst the trials which are incident to this fleeting and transitory state of things, the sundering of ties which have united hearts together, and the prostration of hopes which have been fondly cherished; stoical apathy, or philosophical indifference, are but indifferent sustainers of the sorrow-stricken soul. It is certain, that religion is the only real solace of the afflicted; and he whose heart is brought into subjection to the obedience of Christ, knows that he has a source of comfort which the world can neither give nor take away. But the scorner, the careless neglecter of the Lord Jesus Christ and his Gospel, throws by the precious balm of Gilead. In all the bereavements of life, he has no Almighty arm on which to lean; he may take the miserable comfort of bending to the stroke of necessity, and being satisfied with that which is inevitable; but it is all the while a satisfaction filled with secret repinings and sorrows of the heart. It is altogether unlike the feeling which dictated the expression-"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." As the scorner is without a Saviour, he is without a comforter; and so far alone, as to be without an Almighty aid and refuge; he must bear the sorrows for which, as a child of mortality, he has no escape. Pitiable indeed is that state which, while there is no hold on heaven, gives even no substantial rest on earth; which gives up heaven for the world, and then by the world is cheated. And when the hour of departure comes, though he may have the sympathies of friends, the choicest attentions of earth, he has no arm on which to lean, no guide through the