who did not make the proper use of the "talent" committed to him, "take and cast him into utter "darkness, where there shall be weeping, and "wailing, and gnashing of teeth!" But what shall be said of those, to whom God has been pleased to allot a double portion of the miseries of this life, in order to wean them from this world, and make them" set their affections on things "above," and yet still they cleave to their sins, and intail upon themselves tenfold misery in a future world? for we see by sad experience, that "the fruit of affliction" is far from being always"the purging away of sin;" but on the contrary, affliction frequently produces an opposite effect their conduct is just like that of a man, who, labouring under a dangerous disease, instead of taking the healing medicine prescribed by his physician, should swallow a dose of poison, and destroy himself outright. The third and last motive I shall make mention of, is the certainty of death, and the uncertainty of the time thereof. This state of existence must sooner or later come to a period, as well by the course of nature as by the supreme positive will of God; the duration of it at the longest is but a few years, and of these we have not security for a single hour; neither health, nor youth, nor riches, nor power, can stop

the arrest of death for one moment: on this side the grave all is fluctuating and uncertain, beyond, all is fixed and certain. It is impossible for us indeed to divest ourselves of the most eager affection to this life with all its disadvantages; religion does not require such a sacrifice at our hands, but rather seems to permit this weakness of our nature, by promising us indulgence therein, as an inducement to engage us to the study of what we are more deeply concerned in; if we would therefore wish to enjoy life, and to be fortified to resist the attacks of the king of terrors, let us" first seek the kingdom of God and his " righteousness," that so we may " in patience

possess our souls," and then death will never overtake us at a disadvantage, or find us unprepared; then will that awful monster put on a different appearance; it will no longer approach us as a serpent armed with a mortal sting; but as a welcome messenger to recal us from a tedious banishment, home to our father's kingdom, to put a final end to all our troubles and wants, and to place us in possession of all the treasures of eternity, Let" our affections then be set on "things above, not on the things which are be"low;" let us in an humble dependance on the aid of divine grace, advance in " holiness, without

" which no man can see God;" that at the final consummation of all things, our ears may hear the delightful sentence of approbation,-" Come,

ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom "prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Amen.



JOHN xiv. 15.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.


IT is the distinguishing characteristic of the chris

tian religion, that the doctrines it contains, and the precepts it recommends, require no depth of genius, no extraordinary degree of penetration to discover their import :-in this, the learned have no advantage over the unlearned; the most acute philosopher enjoys no superiority over the most uncultivated rustic: the language of the gospel is the language of nature, which the latter can hear with as much satisfaction as the former.-As the light of the natural sun is obvious to all, who do not labour under an impediment of sight, so the glorious rays emitted from " the Sun of Righte"ousness," present themselves to the view of all who enjoy the exercise of the mental powers, though but in an ordinary degree.

The oracles delivered by the heathen deities were clothed in mystery, and wrapped up in ambiguity, as shunning that light which must infallibly have exposed their absurdity: but the lively oracles of the true God, exhibited in the gospel revelation, court the light, offer themselves to the eyes of every beholder, and prove undeniably that they come from him "who is

light, and in whom is no darkness at all;" and who, like a kind father, expresses his will in a manner intelligible to all his children; not as a harsh master, who will not be at the pains to explain his commands, that he may take occasion rigorously to punish the poor slaves who are left to guess at what would please him. What can be more plain, and at the same time more forcible, than the proposition contained in the text; "if ye love me, keep my commandments?" Our Saviour had now the near prospect of leaving his disciples, and was about to commit to them the propagation of what he so gloriously begun, even the preaching of the gospel to every creature; they were to proclaim to all nations that "he which believeth and is baptized shall "be saved; and he that believeth not shall be "damned."-His meaning then, in these words, is undoubtedly this:-" Would you give a convincing and incontestable proof to all men,

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