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that spirit, which he hath given you. Having done these things, fear nothing ; let your courage redouble, as your dangers increase,
All the attacks, which Satan hath made on your faith to this day, should prepare you for the greatest and most formidable attack of all: ye hare not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin, Heb. xii. 4. The last enemy that shall be destroyed, is death, 1 Cor. xv. 26. The approaches of death are called an agony, that is, the combat by excellence. Then Satan will attack you with cutting griefs, with doubts, and remorse. He will represent
. to you a deplorable family, whose cries will pierce your hearts, and which, by tightening the ties that bind you to the world, will retain your soulson earth, while they long to ascend to heaven. He will terrify you with ideas of divine justice, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries, Heb. x. 27. He will paint in dismal colors to you the procession at your funeral, the torch, the shroud,
and the grave.
But he, who is in you, will render you invulnerable to all these attacks. He will represent to you the delightful relations you are going to form ; the heavenly societies, to which you are going to be united; the blessed angels, waiting to receive your souls. He will shew you that in the tomb of Jesus Christ, which will sanctify your's. He will remind you of that death of the Saviour, which renders your's precious in the sight of God. He will open
of heaven to you, and will enable you to see, without a sigh, the foundations of the earth sinking away from your feet. He will change the groans of your death-beds into songs of triumph ; and, amidst all your honors, he will teach each of you to exult, Blessed be the Lord my strength, who teacheth my hands to war, and
my fingers to fight, Psal. cxliv. 1.
Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ, 2 Cor. ii. 14. O death, where is thy sting ? (grave ! where is thy victory, 1 Cor. xv. 55. God grant you this blessing. To him be honor and glory. Amen.
THE ABSURDITY OF LIBERTINISM AND INFIDELITY,
Psalm, xciv. 7, 8, 9, 10.
They say, The Lord shall not sce: neither shall the God of Jacob re
gard it. Understand, ye most brutish anwng the people : and ye foods, when will ye be wise ? He, that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He, that formed the eye, shall he not see ? He, that chastis
eth the heathen, shall not he correct? He, that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?
the mouth of a man, who loves truth and defends it. They are the usual weapons of them, who plead a desperate cause ; who feel themselves hurt by a formidable adversary; who have not the equity to yield, when they ought to yield ; and who
; have no other part to take, than that of supplying the want of solid reasons by odious names.
Yet, vhatever charity we may have for erroneous p. ple, it is difficult to see with moderation men obstinately maintaining some errors, guiding their minds by the corruption of their hearts, and choosing rather to advance the most palpable absurdities than to give the least check to the most irregular passions. Here how the sacred authors treat people of this character. My people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottisk children, they have no understanding.
The 0.2 knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ephraim is like a silly dove without heart. O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you ? Jer. iv. 22. Isa. i. 3. Hos. vii. 11. Matt. iii. 7. and Gal. iii. 1.
Not to multiply examples, let it suffice to remark, that, if ever there were men, who deserved such odious names, they are such as our prophet describes. Those abominable men I mean, who, in order to violate the laws of religion without remorse, maintain, that religion is a chimera ; who break down all the bounds, which God hath set to the wickedness of mankind, and who determine to be obstinate infidels, that they may be peaceable libertines. The prophet; therefore, lays aside, in respect to them, that charity, which a weak mind would merit, that errs only through the misfortune of a bad education, or the straít limits of a narrow capacity. Oye most brutish among the people, says he to them, understand. Ye fools, when will ye be wise?
People of this sort I intend to attack to-day. Not that I promise myself much success with them, or entertain hopes of reclaiming them. These are the fools, of whom Solomon says, though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him, Prov. xxvii. 22. But I am endeavoring to prevent the progress of the evil, and to guard our youth against favorable impressions of infidelity and libertinism, which have already decoyed away too many of our young people, and to confirm you all in your attachment to your holy religion. Let us enter into the matter.
In the style of the sacred authors, particularly in that of our prophet, to deny the existence of a God, the doctrine of Providence, and the essential difference between just and unjust, is one and the same thing. Compare the psalm, out of which I have taken my text, with the fourteenth, with the fifty-third, and particularly with the tenth, and you will perceive, that the prophet confounds them, who say
in their hearts there is no God, with those, who say, God hath forgotten; he hideth his face, he will never see it, Psal. x. 11.
In effect, although the last of these doctrines may be maintained without admitting the first, yet the last is no less essential to religion than the first. And although a man may be a deist, and an epicurean, without being an atheist, yet the system of an atheist is no more odious to God than that of an epicurean, and that of a deist.
I shall therefore make but one man of these different men, and, after the example of the prophet, I shall attack him with the same arms. In order to justify the titles, that he gives an infidel, I shall attack
1. His taste.
IV. His logics, or to speak more properly, his way of reasoning.
V. His morality.
In all these reflections, which I shall proportion to the length of these exercises, I shall pay more regard to the genius of our age than to that of the times of the prophet : and I shall do this the rather, because we cannot determine on what occasion the psalm was composed, of which the text is a part.