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“ the gall of bitterness, and bond of ini
quity;"_“ without God, and without
hope;"_" children of wrath, and of 66 the devil ;” and if you continue in that state, the feeble thread of life, every moment ready to burst, only prevents you from dropping into the dismal regions of darkness and despair. Against these awful declarations of God by his Word, you may fortify yourselves, while health and prosperity remain, by a constant round of business or of pleasure; but when brought low by affliction,—when stretched on a bed of sickness and of pain, —when death like an armed man advances with hasty strides,—when the judgmentseat of Christ with all its terrors rises to your view;-what then, O sinners, is your refuge, and what the hope of
. dence? You are strangers to that experience whichworketh well-founded hope, even the hope of the Christian which maketh not ashamed. The lying vanities which formerly seduced you into false security, will then fly away and leave you to remorse and all the agonies of despair, -the prelude and foretaste of the more dreadful doom awaiting you in the eter
nal world. O then be persuaded, ere it be too late, to think seriously upon your miserable condition. Glory be to God, my friends, your day of grace is not yet concluded : the calls of the Gospel still sound in your ears. God is yet seated on a throne of mercy. Jesus, the kind and gracious Redeemer of souls, stands with outstretched arms ready to receive you. His language to you is, “ Incline
your ear and come unto me; hear, and your souls shall live.”
O be prevailed on to listen to his voice, now speaking to you by his servant; and let not this be added to the many unprofitable exhortations
have received, and for which, be assured, you shall one day render a solemn account.
In this the day of your merciful visitation, I once more address to you the invitation of Jesus, when he stood and cried in the last day, the great day of the Jewish festival : “ If any man 6 thirst, let him come to me and drink : “ he that believeth on me, out of his belly
shall flow rivers of living water.”—“ The
Spirit and the bride say come ; and let 6 him that heareth say come; and let
66 Hail ye
6 him that is athirst come; and who“ soever will, let him take of the water “ of life freely."
Third, I would now improve the subject for the benefit of those, who, in their own comfortable experience, know the truth of the doctrines which I have endeavoured to illustrate ;-whose tribulations have wrought in them “ patience, " and patience experience, and experi“ence hope.”
In addressing myself to you, may not I seasonably adopt the words of the angel to the Virgin Mary, and say, " that are highly favoured, the Lord is 66 with you;
blessed are ye among men. x Your state, my brethren, is more to be
desired than thrones and dominions, and all the glory which this lower world can afford. Happy surely is that people “ that is in such a case ; yea, happy is “ that people whose God is the Lord !"
"Well, indeed, may your souls magnify “ the Lord, and your spirits rejoice in “ God your Saviour; for he that is
mighty hath done to you great things, “ and holy is his name.” The relation in which you stand to God, is that of children to a father; and such are the
glories of this relation that it is founded on the new covenant, and consequently shall never cease. Your lives are hid with Christ in God: and though the men of the world may be insensible to your privileges, and even mock at the hopes you entertain, yet the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold which perisheth, will be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ. On that day he will commend the tried faith of his people, and distinguish them in the
presence of an assembled universe, by the most endearing expressions of his love.
But even now, as already remarked, amidst all the changes and vicissitudes of this mortal state, in prosperity or adversity, in health or sickness, in joy or sorrow, he who hath this experience and hope can remain unshaken in the faith, and happy in the testimony of a good conscience. He labours under no disquieting apprehensions, respecting the issue of those tumults and disasters which agitate the minds of the multitude. As his portion cannot be affected by these, and his happiness is far beyond their
reach, so the terrors which seize upon others are unable to make him afraid. Amidst the severest deprivations, he can adopt the triumphant language of the prophet of old :
“ Although the fig-tree “ shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be “ in the vine; the labour of the olive shall “ fail, and the fields shall yield no meat ; “ the flock shall be cut off from the fold, “ and there shall be no herd in the stalls;
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” When all other streams of comfort are dried
up, this source admits not of diminution or decay. “ The Lord is thy keeper, the “ Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” _” The sun shall not smite thee by
day, nor the moon by night. The “ Lord shall preserve thee from all evil. “ He shall preserve thy going out and “ coming in, from henceforth, even for
But not longer to insist on these things. -As the righteous are safe, amidst all the calamities of life; so, at the hour of death, the hour when riches cannot please or profit, when it may be said of all sublunary objects, as Job declared of his