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Corruption." His Holiness will be to you a con. fuming fire, his justice will execute strict judgment upon you, and you shall infallibly “ perish from the way, if his wrath is kindled, yea but a little,” how much more when it burns with unabating fury, "consumes the earth with its increase, and melts down the foundation of the mountains,” when it burns and shall not be quenched ?" Oh ye unholy and profane, “ how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"
3. There is but one way in which you can escape this, and that I fear, is a way in which you . do not choose to walk. It is the way of unfeigned repentance, lively faith, and new obedience. Thus, and only thus, can you find mercy with the Lord, . and stand approved before the Son of Man. Oh hear the voice, the sweet and melting voice of mercy! “ As I live (faith the Lord) I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth; therefore, iurn and live ye. Cease to do evil, learn to do well ; wash ye, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes. Come now and let us reason together (faith the Lord; though your fins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow, tho’ they bę red as crimson they shall be as wool; for all manner of fins and blasphemies shall be forgiven, "unto penitent finners through the Redeemer, whose “ blood cleanseth from all fin." “ Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgive. , ness of fins, and by him all, that” with penitent hearts, “ believe, are justified, from all things from which they could not be justified by ” their own obedience.
4. And does not this chearing voice of mercy gladden thy very heart, thou ungodly, guilty and self-condemned finner ? Dost thou not see cause; great cause to praise him that the door of salvation
is not yet shut againft thee, thee (I say) who haft fo long refused to enter in at it? That he has not yet cut thee down who haft fo long only cumbered the ground ? Oh praise him, if thou hast any sense of gratitude left, that he still waits to be gracious, still extends the arms of his mercy and love to embrace thy guilty soul!-lut at the same time con. sider, thou knoweft not how soon the door may be fhnt against thee if thou still deferreft to enter : Thou knoweft not how foon he may shut up his loving-kindness in difpleasure, if thou fill delayet to take refuge there! Remember the goodnefs of God ought to lead thee to repentance, but if it have not that happy effect, thou wilt soon find it changed into a sea of wrathful indignation to overwhelm thy hopeless sout!
's. I testify to thee, this day, in the name of the once crucified but now highly exalted Saviour, whom thou hast hitherto despised and rejected ; if that amazing love which brought him from the palaces of heaven, where he was attended and worThipped by myriads of angels and archangels, €herubim and seraphim, into this howling wilder. ness, this world of wl., where he was forsaken of all, even of the twelve poor fishermen his only attendants; which induced him to assume this vile body, subject to infirmity, pain and death, that thou mightest rise thro' his fall and be exalted thro' his humiliation ; mighreft be invested with the divine nature, with holinefs, immortality and bliss, and dwell in mansions of glory for ever; the wonderful love which exposed him to hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness, thame and con: tempt, that thy famished and starving foul might be fed with the bread of life, refreshed with the wine of divine love, clothed with the garments of salvation, and honoured before an affembled world ; the mysterious love which subjected him
to the fevere stroke of his Father's justice, the molt malevolent spite of his own creatures, and the most implacable malice of infernal fiends, that thou mightest be delivered from the power of Satan, enjoy the good-will of saints and angels, and be happy in the smile and favour of thy God; the unfearchable love which filled his soul with unknown agony in the garden ; crowned his head with sharp thorns in the Judgment-hall, tore his back with knotty whips before Pilate, najled his body to the execrable cross between the vilest miscreants, and opened a fountain in his side where thou mightest quench thy thirst for happiness, and wath away thy filth of fin ;-if this great, amaz. ing and unfathomable love (I say) do not win thy heart, and melt thee in its holy flame into a veffel of honour, I testify to thee, it will suddenly be converted into fiery indignation which will kindle upon and consume thy body and soul in its un. quenchable flames !
6. Foolish man, what art thou doing? Despisest thou the riches of his glory, the paradise of his delights, the dignity of his crown, which he tenderly and earnestly invites thee to share ? Slightest thou his love ? His bleeding, agonizing, expiring love ! Has he not suffered enough? Art thou resolved to crucify him afreth and put him to open shame ? Sinner forbear! Ceafe to revile and buffet that lovely person ! Cease to spit in that divine face which angels gaze upon with rapture ! How canst thou brui'c that facred head! Ah! do not drive those rude nails still further! Why wilt thou give that guiltless heart another and a deeper wound ? Sinner, what evil hath he done? Wherein hath he injured thee? Injured thee! alas ! he hath loved thee even unto death, and quenched by his precious blood the flames of hell kindling about thy unholy soul! And dost thou thus requite his
undeserved favour and boundless love? Wretched man, abstain! Join no more the murderers of thy Saviour! Bid adieu to their company! Let his Love overcome thee! Throw down the weapons of thy rebellion ; 'fall' at his dear feet, pierced by thy crimes, and distilling a sacred balm to heal thy wounded soul! And kiss the Son left he be angry! Remember he has authority to execute judgment, to save or to destroy. “ He has the keys of death and of hell; he opens and no man shuts, shuts and no man opens.” If he once “ swear in his wrath thou shalt not enter into his rest,” thy die will be cast and thy wretched fate determined for ever! Now is the accepted time! now is the day of salvation! Now knock at the door of mercy and say, Lord, Lord, open to me! And he will open to thee; he will pardon, accept and bless thee, and even thou shalt ensure the things which belong to thy peace before they are for ever: hid from: thine eyes!
On the Occafion of the Death of Mrs. Foster, .
. AT THE
CHAPEL in CHERRY-STREET, BIRMINGHAM, :
ON SUNDAY EVENING, AUG. 29, 1790.
1 THESS. IV. 13, 14. * I would not have you ignorant, brethren, con
cerning them who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also that fleep in Jesus will God bring
with him.”. J. A N eminent French Writer, Monf. Saurin,
A has given it as his opinion, that this is one of the most difficult Texts in the New Teftament. Accordingly he prefents us with a long and learned ex position of ir, in which he proceeds upon a very fingular hypothefis. He fuppofes that the desire " which prevailed in the primitive Christians to see 4 Christ when he should appear to Judgment, made 166 them lament those of their brethren who died, 4 as cut off from that hope ; and that it was in 66 reference to this, that the Apostle assured them,
in this paffage, that fuch would be entirely on a « level with those of their brethren who should * then be found alive." This fupposition seems