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HOLY GHOST.

Christians are bound by additional and peculiar considerations to abstain from it. YE, says the Apostle, ARE THE TEMPLES OF THE

To defile yourselves with the sins of uncleanness is, then, to desecrate those bodies which the Holy Ghost sanctifies by his presence. It is, in the emphatic language of scripture, to grieve the holy Spirit, and to do despite to the spirit of grace. It is like, nay it is infinitely worse, than polluting the sanctuary: an abomination, which nature itself teaches all men to avoid and execrate. It is, in the highest sense of the words, PROPHANENESS, IMPIETY, SACRILEGE.

Again; YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE: ye are not your own, but God's; having been ransomed by him, your souls and bodies, when both were lost, through the death of his Son : a price, of so immense, so inestimable a value, that worlds are not equal to it. To dispose of yourselves, then, in a way which he forbids and abhors : to corrupt by your impurities that which belongs to God, which is his right and property; to serve your lusts, when ye are redeemed at such a price to serve God only, through Jesus Christ ; is an outrage which we poorly express, when language affords no other names for it, than those of INGRATITUDE, INFIDELITY, INJUSTICE.

Whatever excuses a poor heathen might alledge to palliate this sin, we Christians have none to offer. He, who knew not God, might be led by his pride, by his passions, and even by his religion, to conclude (as the idolatrous Corinthians seem to have done) that his own body was for fornication ; or, at most, that he was only accountable to his own soul (if his philosophy would give him leave to think he had one) for the misuse of it. But this lan, guage is now out of date, The' souls and bodies of us Christians are not ours, but the Lord's : they are occupied by his spirit, and appropriated to his service. The conclusion follows, and cannot be inforced in stronger terms than those of the text: THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY, AND IN YOUR SPIRIT, WHICH ARE God's,

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SERMON XXVII.

PREACHED MARCH 13, 1774.

JOB xxiii. 26,

Thou writest bitter things against me, and

makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.

This is one of the complaints which Job makes in his expostulations with the Almighty. He thought it hard measure that he should suffer, now in his riper years, for the iniquities of his youth. He coull charge himself with no other; and therefore he hoped that these had been forgotten.

Job is all along represented as an eminently virtuous person; so that the iniquities of his

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his youth might not have been numerous or considerable: otherwise, he would not have thought it strange, that he was made to possess his sins, long after they had been committed. Our experience is, in this respect, so constant and uniform, that there is no room for surprize or expostulation. All those who have passed their youth in sin and folly, may with reason express a very strong resentment against themselves ; but have no ground of complaint against God, when they cry out, in the anguish of their souls: Thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.

The words are peculiarly strong and energetic; and may be considered distinctly from the case of Job, as expressing this general proposition ; “ That, in the order of things, an ill-spent youth derives many lasting evils on the subsequent periods of life.”, An alarming truth! which cannot be too much considered, and should especially be set before the young and unexperienced, in the strongest light,

The sins of youth, as distinguished from those of riper years, are chiefly, such as are, occasioned by an immoderate, or an irregular pursuit of pleasure ; into which we are too easily

carried in that careless part of life ; and the ill effects of which are rarely apprehended by us, till they are severely felt.

Now, it may be said of us, that we are made to POSSESS these sins, " When we continue under the constant sense and unrepented guilt of them :"

“ When we labour under tyrannous habits, which they have produced :" And, “ when we groan under afflictions of various kinds, which they have entailed upon us.

In these three respects, I mean to shew how bitter those things are, which God writeth, that is, decreeth in his justice, against the iniquities of our youth.

I. The first, and bitterest effect of this indulgence in vicious pleasure, is the guilt and consequent remorse of conscience, we derive from it.

When the young mind has been tinctured in any degree with the principles of modesty and virtue, it is with reluctance and much

apprehension, that it first ventures on the transgression of known duty. But the vivacity and thoughtless gaiety of that early season, encouraged by the hopes of new pleasure, and

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