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believed our report?-I beseech you,
your own sakes. If as yet you know not God, you know not what happiness is. Alas, poor soul, all the happiness which thou hast is bounded to this world, thou hast no views beyond the grave, all is darkness and the shadow of death there. Thou canst not think of God without terror. Thou darest not to think of death at all, for after death comes judgment. When thou liest down at night thou canst not look up to a heavenly Father to watch over thee while asleep, or to receive thy soul, should it be called away in the night, to the arms of infinite and everlasting love. When thou risest up in the morning, thou hast no one to whom to commit thyself and thy concerns for the day. Thou knowest nothing of the sweet delight of serving God even here, and of feeling his love, of giving up thyself to him, body, soul, and spirit;thou knowest nothing of looking forward to an eternity spent in his presence, where is the fulness of joy, and at his righthand, where there are pleasures for evermore. I invite you to be reconciled to God, in order that you may have these divine delights. Oh, taste and see how gracious the Lord is. True, you have kept him waiting long, but he still waits to have mercy. He is still in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Does your heart give way? Do you
wish to come?: Come then; the Spirit and the bride say, Come, and let him that is athirst, come.
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
* Rev. xxii. 17.
But if you still stand out, if you determine to persist in your rebellion, I have still a message from God, and it is this, Prepare to meet thy God;t prepare to meet him-(if such is thy mad determination)—as an enemy, as a consuming fire, The day of grace will soon be over; in hell there are no offers of mercy, no ambassadors of Christ entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation. But before you thus despise the goodness of God, I beseech you to count the cost.
. Reconciled or not, you must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ; and if you appear there unpardoned and unsanctified, you must be condemned ; you must hear the awful sentence, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.I Now then, I say, pause, consider, Can thine heart endure or thine hands be strong in the day that God shall deal with thee? Have you made up your mind to endure what the wrath of God shall lay upon you? Who among you shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among you shall dwell with everlasting burnings? What is it you set your hearts upon ? What darling sin is it that keeps you away from God? Alas, at what a price do you buy the pleasures of sin ! They must be pleasures, indeed, which are worth an eternity of torment, for which you madly en
* Isaiah lv. 1.
Matt. xxv. 41.
† Amos iv. 12.
danger your souls; for which you are willing to risk that place of torment, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.* May God give you a better mind! May God, in richest mercy, grant you to see the error of your ways, to turn to him, to experience his pardoning mercy, and to know him as a God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself!
Mark ix. 44.
GOD IS LOVE.
1 John IV. 8.-God is love.
The heart of man, ever since the fall, has been alienated and averse from God. This is the great, original, fundamental sin. It is very easily seen that men, by nature, are indifferent to God. You have but to listen to the conversation, and look at the lives of the world around you,-alas! you have but to look ever so slightly into your own hearts, and examine the thoughts of a single day, to know assuredly that man is utterly careless about God, knows him not, and does not want to know him. I appeal to yourselves, what are your hearts set upon? what do you think about? what do you talk about ? what do you desire after? Nay, my friends, unless you be in the small number of those whose hearts God has touched, your thoughts, and conversations, and desires, are all about the world, and the good things of the world. But there is something worse than this ; the depravity of the human heart does not stop here.
not stop here. Man is not only thoughtless about God, but when he is compelled to think of Him, he hates Him; hates God. So the Scriptures declare. The carnal mind, says S.Paul, is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.* Again, Whosoever will be a friend of the world, i.e. whosoever is in his natural state, living as the world lives, is the enemy of God, says S. James. When a man is brought in any way to think of death, and judgment to come; when he remembers that he must appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, and when he looks back and sees what deeds those are which he shall have to answer for, what a long and foul catalogue of sins of life and sins of heart; then, unless the Spirit of God be present to humble and soften the heart, the natural feeling is a hatred and rising against God,-a wish that the fool could indeed persuade him, that there is no God. He looks upon God as none other than a powerful enemy, whom he can neither resist nor escape from; and this feeling makes him desperate. Now, it is the interest of Satan to maintain this feeling in the sinner's heart; and this he does by suggesting hard thoughts of God, by making him appear a harsh and unreasonable Master, by pointing out the hard things required in the law of God, and making religion and the ways of God appear every thing that is gloomy and disagreeable. So it was when he tempted Eve. God had forbidden our first parents, as a trial of their obedience, to eat of the fruit of one