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life, as the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord :' for if we succeed in this grand concern, all inferior disappointments or losses will shortly be most amply made up to us; but if we fail in this respect, our present successes will only serve to ag. gravate our future anguish. Every pursuit, which is incompatible with this primary interest, must be madness and ruin, however fashionable, reputable, lucrative, or agreeable. Not only inferior elegancies, distinctions, and honours; but even crowns and sceptres, the splendour of courts, the councils of states. men and senators, the grand concerns of empires, yea, “ all the kingdoms of the world, and all the glory of them,” dwindle into utter insignificance, and fade as a withering flower, when compared with eternal happiness or misery ; “ For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?” The soul of man, bearing the natural image of God, in its noble powers and faculties; capable of being renewed to his moral image “ in righteousness and true holiness ;" endued with the capacity of most exquisite pleasure, or most inconceivable anguish; and formed to subsist in happiness or misery, through the countless ages of eternity ; is lost, when the favour and image of God are finally forfeited; and when it is condemned to endure his tremendous wrath, and to be given up to the unre. strained fury of all vile affections, in the company of fallen spirits, for ever. This loss is incurred by sin, but the forfeiture is ratified by the sinner's persevering impenitence, unbelief, and disobedience. The pleasure, profit, honour, power, or ease, which men seek by continuing in sin, is the price of their souls :

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and they are so infatuated, as thus to sell them for the most worthless trifles; because, (like our first parents,) they credit Satan's lies more than the truth of God, through desire of the forbidden fruit; or because they put off the grand concern to a future season, and quiet their consciences, (as debtors do their importunate creditors,) by fixing on some future time of intended amendment; or because they think their state good, when God's word declares the contrary. Thus their opportunity elapses, and too late they understand the energy of the question, " What shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?".

This shows us the importance of our Lord's exhortation, “ Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” Admission into that kingdom, which God has set up among men by the gospel of his Son, the privileges of which consist in “ righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;" the holiness and blessings of that kingdom for ourselves, and the peace, prosperity, and enlargement of it in the world, should be sought by diligence in all appointed means, as our grand objects, with the first and best of our time and affections, in preference to all other things, and with a willingness to venture, or part with, whatever comes in competition with them : even if that should be our estates, liberty, friends, or life itself. We are not even allowed to" fear them who can only kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do;" when this would lead us to incur the displeasure of the Almighty," who is able 10 destroy both body and soul in hell.” A proper attention to our worldly business and interests is a part of our duty to God, to his church, to the com

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munity, and to our families; every thing lawful and expedient, may thus be rendered subservient to our grand object; and all things needful will be added to us. But men are ruined by reversing this order, and seeking first the world, and the things that are in the world,” namely," the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”

Even where gross vices and open ungodliness are avoided, how greatly are persons of all ranks, endowments, and professions, “ careful and troubled about many things ;') instead of attending simply and diligently to the “ one thing needful,” and decidedly

, choosing that good part, which never could be taken from them !” Men's thoughts, contrivances, hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, maxims, wisdom, assiduity, and conversation, are almost wholly engrossed by the perishing vexatious trifles of time. Every vague, strange, and uninteresting report is more attended to, than" the glad tidings of salvation;" every science is deemed better worth cultivating, than the knowledge of God; every question is thought sufficiently important to set the ingenuity of men at work to give it a satisfactory answer, except it be inquired, “What must we do to be saved ?!!-Such topics as this, excite only astonishment, disgust, and a short silence, till some more congenial subject is started! If a man pretend to teach the way to health, to riches, to the enjoyment of life, or how to appear to advantage in company, assiduous attention and liberal compensation will not be withheld: but they, who would instruct men in the way of eternal life, must not expect great or general regard, ven when they desire no other recompense.

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But time and room would fail, should we attempt to enumerate the proofs of man's folly and madness in this respect. Even the very messages of God, respecting judgment, eternity, and the great salvation of the gospel, instead of meeting with serious regard, are frequently set to music, and profanely employed to vary the species of pleasurable dissipation! Nay, they are often preached, out of ostentation, avarice, envy, or strife; heard as a matter of curiosity or amusement; or contended for, in pride, virulence, and furious anger! The grand business of most men, seems to be, to avoid the burden of reflection, to cause time to glide away as imperceptibly as possible, and so, apparently, to shorten the span allotted them to prepare for eternity! Well might the Psalmist then say, " rivers of water run down mine eyes, because men keep not thy law." -But, o ye giddy sons and daughters of Adam! what will you think of your present pursuits, when death shall summon you to God's tribunal? What will then your riches, pleasures, decorations, ele. gances, honours, or dignities avail you? What com. fort will the knowledge of all languages, and arts, and sciences then afford? What will you think of your presentanxious cares, covetings, envyings, repinings, and disputes ; when the "night cometh in which no man can work ?" “ Seek,” then, “ the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

ESSAY VI.

On the Deity of Jesus Christ.

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The doctrine of a Mediator, through whom a just and holy God deals mercifully with believers, is the grand peculiarity of revelation : it must therefore be of the greatest importance for us to form a proper estimate of the personal dignity of this Mediator. The doctrine, which I shall here attempt to establish from Scripture, may be thus stated: “ That Jesus Christ is truly and really God, one with and equal to the Father; being from eternity possessed of all divine perfections, and justly entitled to all divine honours; yet personally distinct from the Father, and so called his own Son, and his only begotten Son. But that in order to the performance of his

. mediatorial offices, he assumed our nature into personal union with the Deity : and became one with us, truly Man, like us in all things, sin alone excepted: and that he is thus God and Man in one mysterious incomprehensible Person ; so that “ all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in him bodily."

No argument can properly be brought against the Joctrine of our Lord's essential Deity, as here stated

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