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gation; and I should deceive you, if I led you to suppose that it was not the case; your state is dangerous, but I would trust, not hopeless : As you are monuments of the longsuffering mercy of God, you may become monuments of his grace.
If you will only now believe what his word declares; that you are lost and ruined sinners; that there is no health, no spiritual life in you,
but that He is able to save and deliver you from that state, and quicken you to newness of life, and if you go to Christ for this purpose, believing on him, as able and willing to make your peace with God, and to save you from the love, power, practice, and condemnation of sin, according to your faith, it shall be done unto you; you shall receive a new heart and a new spirit, which he will create and make within you; and dwelling in your heart by his Holy Spirit, he will make it manifest to yourselves, and to those around
that become children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus ; each will say of himself, “ whereas I was once blind, now I see;" and it will be said of you, this sinner was dead, but is alive again, he was lost, but is found.
Oh, be persuaded then, to examine yourselves, and be wise in time, while hope is not yet cut off, and you are not given over to despairanother day neglected, may consign you to final hardness and impenitency of heart; nay, an
hour, may place you beyond the reach of mercy, in the regions of everlasting misery and woe; and then, how heart-rending will be the reflection, “ a short hour ago, I was warned of all this, but I would not believe-what I would not fear, I now feel; and feel, that I am lost for ever, without hope of mercy. I have no one to blame but myself; a Saviour, in all his fulness, freeness, and willingness to save, was held out to me, but I turned away-was offered to me, but I refused the offer—and now, that Saviour is become my judge: as I frequently said unto him in the day of my unbelief and impenitency, depart from me," so I shall hear him saying unto me, in the language of righteous retribution, “ depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels ;” such may be the awful result of your disregard of what you have heard this day, and I would ask, will you continue in a state, which must inevitably end, in such a dreadful downfall ? Oh! beware and repent, believe and live: take up your Bible daily, and give not over, till you have found out the way of life, and have good hope that you are walking in it; and remember, it is a way, directly contrary to the course in which you have hitherto walked, the course of this world. Bę assured, the times in which we live, call for serious consideration : the Apostle, speaking by the Spirit of God, has
told us, that " in the last days, perilous times should come." I believe we are now in the latter days, and have reason to expect perilous times, for they must come; it is our wisdom therefore, to be prepared for them; and what is the character of these times ? the Apostle has told us in his second Epistle to Timothy ; « Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy: without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such,” he adds, “ turn away." These are all the natural fruits which must result from the evil spirits, “ which enter in, and dwell among us," all in opposition to the truth of God, and to the God of truth; whether known by the name of Socinian, Arian, Pelagian, Deistical, Popish, or Infidel—ALL are alike contrary to the word of God; and they are awfully prevalent, throughout all ranks of society in the present day. Wherever they prevail, they bring ruin and destruction in their train; there is but one way of escape, and that is opened as a city of refuge, to which we may flee; as an ark amidst the prevailing floods of iniquity, into which we are invited to enter ; that City of Refuge, that ark is Christ ; flee then to him as he
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is revealed to you in his word; seek to know him, as “ the way, the truth, and the life;" lay hold on him by the hand of faith; open your heart to him, and beseech him to purify it as an habitation for himself, that the evil spirit being cast out, he may dwell there. fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Come out of a world that lieth in wickedness, and is ripening for “the vintage of the wrath of God," as St. John has emphatically declared. Associate with those who love the law of God, and who walk in the light of it; for “why shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Shew yourself openly on the Lord's side, and rest not satisfied till you are certain, that you are among his flock; for though little one,” it is the only one he will protect here, and receive to himself hereafter; all others, however strong, however triumphant for a season, shall assuredly be broken in pieces like a potter's vessel, and utterly destroyed in the indignation of God's wrath. Depart then, I pray you, from the tenets of wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sin.” God now calls you again, by his word; he calls you by his providences, and by the signs of the present times, to repent and believe, and turn from all your iniquities, lest the wrath of his fiery indignation kindle against you, and none shall quench it.
“ Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian,"
The chapter from whence this text is taken, is one of peculiar interest; it contains the defence of the great Apostle of the Gentiles before the Roman governor Festus, and King Agrippa, when unjustly accused by the Jews. In this defence, he simply, but eloquently states his manner of life, while he lived a Jew and a Pharisee; he acknowledges the blind zeal with which he himself had persecuted the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and proceeds to state, how in the midst of his career of persecution, he was suddenly arrested by the hand of that Jesus, whom he persecuted; but, it was in mercy, not in judgment ; for he was no sooner struck to the earth, than he was commanded to rise up, and receive a commission from Christ himself,