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thoughts of your hearts may be forgiven you. To this, you may be encouraged by the consideration of the fulness and sufficiency of Christ; the divine character, “ gracious and merciful;" and that Christ “ came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
3. Though Solomon addresses himself particu. larly to youth, yet the latter part of the text may with equal propriety be applied to you, who are farther advanced in life. God will most surely bring you into judgment. You have lived many years already, which are gone forever. Conse. quently you are not far from death. In what condition are you ? Have you ever been translated out of darkness into marvellous light ? or, do you still remain alienated from the life and love of God? It is high time to determine this interest. ing question ; for the graves are ready for you, and when a few days, perhaps a few hours are come, you shall
shall not return. Then your condition will be unalterably fixed. For in hell there will be no redemption, no gleam of hope. Look round, ye parents, and behold many of your children supremely anxious about their eternal salyation, while you, who ought to go before them in every thing commendable and praise-worthy, are entirely secure in sin, on the very brink of everlasting ruin,
I shall conclude with an address to the young men, at whose request we now appear in the house of God.
My dear young friends, whom I view as the fruit of my ministry, my joy and crown, you will not think hard that I have taken up so much of
your time in attempting to expose the folly
and misery of profligate youth. Perhaps a discourse of this nature may be more generally useful, than had it been wholly confined to you; the bare possibility of which, I doubt not, will reconcile you to the manner, in which you have been addressed this evening. Such were some of you; but you profess to have been washed, to have been justified, to have been sanctified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God; and to glory only in the cross of Christ. The single consideration of being early called, or brought to an experimental acquaintance with the gospel in the prime of life, lays you under additional obligations to love God, and live to his honour. At the same time you ought to remember, that it is a most dangerous period. Also keep in mind, that a profession of Christianity, without Christ in you the hope of glory, will do you no service. “ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Hence the necessity of frequent, solemn self-examination, that ye may know whether you are in the faith, and whether Jesus Christ is
Many eyes are upon you ; and some may say that your goodness will be like the morning cloud, and early dew, which soon goeth away: that so many
of you have at this time professed religion, in conformity to one another : that one does it because another does; and that a little time will discover it. It may be so ; but God forbid it should. The worst will be to yourselves. It is a truth, that in all times of revival of religion, there have been some deceivers; some who final ly turned apostates. And though I have no sus
picion of any one of you in particular, I fear for you, because you carry about with you a body of sin, have warm passions, and are surrounded with numberless temptations. Yet I hope better things, than that you, who have set your hands to the plough, will ever look back. Great has been, and still is our satisfaction in you. And it will continue, yea, increase, provided you hold out to the end. Guard against self-confidence ; and remember that your standing is on Christ, out of whose fulness you must receive, and grace for grace.
For as the branch cannot bear fruit, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in him. And by virtue of constant supplies of grace from Christ, your path will be like that of the just, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Carefully attend to all the duties of the Christian life. Make much use of the living oracles ; neg. lect not the religion of your closets, neither forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is. Each of you should studiously endeavour to promote the religious society, in which you are at present happily united. If rightly conducted, by prayer, reading, and free con. versation on matters of experience, it may prove of special advantage to you. Watch over one another with all diligence, and reprove, if neces. sary, with meekness and love. Opposition you are to expect in your Christian course ; for “ he that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Endeavour to set your faces like a flint; to be stedfast, immoveable, always a. bounding in the work of the Lord. In due time you shall reap, if you faint noţ. Verily, true re
ligion is accompanied with present peace and consolation. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." Thus will you, having believed in the Son of God in a proper sense, rejoice in your youth ; your hearts will
in the days of your youth: for “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Go on and prosper, and the Lord be
“ And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an in
ce among them who are sanctified.”
1 CORINTHIANS, i. 21. For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew
not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
THE best method, in my judgment, of determining with accuracy, how far the light of nature is sufficient to lead mankind to the knowl. edge of the true God and their duty to him, is, to attend to the condition of the heathen world : not of the most barbarous and ignorant, but of the inhabitants of Greece and Rome, at the periods when they were most celebrated for learning and refinement. Even then they were gross idola. ters; and many of their sentiments and practices were shocking to decency and common sense. t
* This and the two following Sermons were delivered in No. vember, 1790
+ “The sports of the gladiators, unnatural lusts, the licentiousness of divorce, the exposing of infants and slaves, the procuring abortions, the public establishment of stews; all subsisted at Rome, and not one of them was condemned, or hinted at in Tully's offices. The most indecent revelling, drunkenness, and lewdness were practised at the feasts of Bacchus, Ceres, and Cybele; and their greatest philosophers never remonstrated against it.
« The heathen philosophers, though they have advanced fine sayings and sublime precepts, in some points of morality, have grossly failed in othe ; such as the toleration or encouragement of revenge, slavery, unnatural lust, fornication, suicide, &c. For exa