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of human life abundantly testifies. How many from the innocence, and simplicity, and flattering prospects of youth, have been gradually debased, till their mature age is polluted with the grossest crimes! How many, whose minds were once as pure as their persons were delicate, by frequent violation of the dictates of conscience, have become so entirely callous, that the shafts of reproach make no impression; so thoroughly depraved, that even the dread of shame has lost its influence!

These are some of the melancholy effects of sin, and these may be avoided by timely care and discretion. There are other evils inflicted by this deadly foe, which it is the common lot of mankind to sustain. We may, therefore, go on to observe,

4thly. That when the apostle asserts, "The wages " of sin is death," he has chiefly in view the dissolution of this corporeal frame. The penalty annexed to the divine law, was expressed in these awful terms; "In "the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely "die." And the sentence denounced against the primitive transgressors, was, "Dust thou art, and unto "dust shalt thou return." Derived from mortal progenitors, all their children are subjected to the same fate-it is now appointed unto all men once to die. Death entered by sin; and thus death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. And, surely, none of us will be inclined to deny, that this is a grievous punishment. Had we continued innocent, none of the pure delights afforded in this first stage of our existence would have been interrupted; none of the tender connexions formed in this world would have been for a moment dissolved: we should have been translated to

higher regions of bliss and glory, without so many sad partings by the way, without passing through the dark valley of the shadow of death. Far otherwise is now the condition of fallen man. After a few fleeting years, the righteous, as well as the ungodly, must sink into the grave; must go to the land where all things are forgotten; must bid an everlasting adieu to the present scene of things, with which they are so intimately acquainted, and launch forth into that unknown world, which can now be only dimly descried by the eye of faith. And that this is a sore punishment inflicted upon the human race, the heart-rending sighs and lamentations, the floods of tears which from the beginning have been occasioned by it, abundantly testify.

But this, however grievous, is not the worst evil which depraved man is liable to sustain; for, it is to be observed,

In the last place, that the wages of sin is an everlasting banishment from the joys of heaven, a wretched existence in those hateful regions where every object will be to him a minister of woe. This deplorable and hopeless condition is frequently represented in Scripture under the denomination of death. Thus it is said, "As righteousness tendeth to life; so he that


pursueth evil, pursueth it to his own death. If ye "live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through "the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall "live. He that overcometh, shall not be hurt of the "second death." This is the last and most fatal mischief inflicted by our deadly foe. From all the other sad consequences of sin we may escape: but he who falls under the just judgment of the Almighty, and is doomed to the place of misery provided for impenitent

transgressors, must expect no mitigation of his distress, no release from his cruel tormentors. To those dreary mansions, the light and warmth of God's converting grace are not extended. The accepted time is past; the season of probation is over; now, there is no place for repentance.

Can any intelligent being of the least sobriety and discretion, look forward to this desperate state of wretchedness, without the most lively emotions of fear? Can any person who entertains the slightest regard for his own real felicity, forbear to inquire with extreme solicitude, "What shall we do to be saved from this "unhappy lot of obdurate sinners ?" Helpless mortals, sink not, however conscious of your weakness, into a state of utter despondency! Penitent offenders against the laws of your God, awakened as ye now are, to a just sense of your danger, behold the means of safety placed in your hands! What can be more consoling to you, than the declaration of the holy apostle, in the latter part of the text, "The gift of God "is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord?" They who were made subject to death by the prevalence of sin, may be restored to life through the tender mercy of heaven-a life not of short continuance like our existence here below, but one that is eternal in the mansions of perfect bliss. This life, this inestimable blessing is not the wages of our righteousness, the reward of our merit, as death is the just wages of sin; but it is the free gift of God to sinful mortals, who had no reason to expect any thing from him, but the execution of the sentence denounced against the violators of his law. And this precious gift was not obtained by our pleading our necessity; by our imploring the VOL. II. 7

Divine compassion and liberality; but it is imparted to us through Jesus Christ our Lord-it was purchased by his merits, and will be distributed according to his righteous judgment.

What remains then, but that I address you, my brethren, in the language of Moses to those who lived under the first testament of God's mercy; "I have set "before you life and death, blessing and cursing." If you dread of the severest misery; if you have any have any regard for your true and lasting felicity, let me conclude with exhorting you to choose life.

The melancholy sentence is inflicted upon all men"In Adam we have all died;" but, for ever blessed be the tender mercy of our God in furnishing us with the means of rising from that ruined condition; "in Christ "we may all be made alive." Let us believe and obey his Gospel, and he will save us from every real evil: he is the first-born from the dead; and we, in due time, will be the sons of the resurrection.

In this world, the joys of paradise have been lost; but man is not left by his Creator destitute and forlorn. Let us look forward to that better country, to that new heavens and new earth, in which dwelleth righte ousness: there, the faithful servants of God will be amply compensated for every present loss: there, the tree of life will flourish with unfading bloom, with unbounded fertility; and rivers of the purest pleasure will never cease to flow.

If it be painful to close our eyes for ever upon these fair works of God's creation; to part, for a season, from those beloved friends who are left behind in this state of earthly pilgrimage; let us prepare ourselves in soul and body for admission into far more splendid

mansions, the blessed habitations of the just; for the enjoyment of that society of the faithful, which will no more be separated by death; from which sorrow and sighing are banished for ever.

Let us, by a patient continuance in well-doing, endeavour to soften the frown of the king of terrors. The sting of death is sin. Vice strews the sick man's pillow with thorns; raises round his couch hideous forms to scare away his peace; and assails him with two-edged tortures-a sense of past guilt, and dread of future woe. Penitence for our numerous defects, faith in the merits and mediation of our Redeemer, and hearty obedience to his laws, will, on the contrary, make smooth the bed of death, and cheer the surrounding gloom with a bright prospect of the approaching bliss and glory of heaven. In a word, let virtue and religion enlighten our understandings, mollify our hearts, keep alive the sensibility of conscience, mitigate the pangs of temporal, and save us from the horrors of eternal death. Thus shall we be qualified for the reception of the greatest of all blessings, even eternal life, which is the free gift of God through Jesus Christ.

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