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away their confidence in Christ, but to “ hold fast the profession of their faith " without wavering,” he assures them, that a great reward awaited them in the heavens; that they would soon be delivered from the persecutions to which they were at present exposed; for the Lord Jesus would come, as he had promised, and destroy Jerusalem,-an event which the Hebrews then saw approaching, by the appearing of those signs which Christ had mentioned in his prophecy would precede its accomplishment. force these arguments by a different and still more powerful motive, he adds, “ the just shall live by faith ;" but if any man who had made a profession of faith should draw back in the time of trial, and finally apostatize, the apostle declares in the name of God, speaking after the manner of men,“ my soul shall have no “ pleasure in him.”

It is a melancholy truth, that many professors of the gospel, in all ages,

have proved unstedfast and unfaithful in their Christian profession. Even so early as the days of our Lord's personal ministry, we read of many who were accounted his

How many,

disciples, that went back and walked no more with him. And in the present day, how many are there, who make shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience ?

who having once seemingly run well in the Christian

race,

afterwards cease their exertions;—who“ havingonce

put their hand to the plough, look “ back," and by degrees return with increased guilt to their former sins ;-who having begun in the spirit, at last end in the flesh.—Considering those things, and conscious too, as all who know any thing of themselves must be, that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, is there not cause for holy jealousy and godly fear? Is not the awful admonition in the text equally suitable, equally important, equally necessary to us, as it was to the persons to whom it was originally addressed ? And may we not suppose, that our blessed Lord is now saying to each of us individually, “ If thou draw back, my soul “ shall have no pleasure in thee ?”

In discoursing from this subject, it is proposed,

I. To explain what is meant by the

expression, “ If any man draw back." And,

II. To point out some reasons which should determine us to guard against the apostacy here mentioned.

I. By the expression “ to draw back," must certainly be understood a total and final apostacy, as is evident from the clause immediately following the words of the text: “ We are not of those who “ draw back unto perdition.” But in order to explain its import more particularly, I would observe, in the first place, that some who once were accounted disciples of Christ, have drawn back into open profanity and infidelity.

Of persons of this character the Apostle Peter speaks in his 2d epistle, 2d chap. ver. 20 and 21, when he

" For if “s after they have escaped the pollutions « of the world, through the knowledge “ of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, " they are again entangled therein, and 66 '

overcome; the latter end is worse with 6 them than the beginning. For it had 66 been better for them not to have known “ the way of righteousness, than, after

when he says :

they have boovi 11 tom ne holy commapicers einst DIY " them.” Alas: tov menc. II: reflection, that there sem se o ne world persons possessed craze DCWES of Christianity, and ye so se less of their true irtees, 4 I xanim the hope of the gospel ir E aka i sie perishing pleasures oc si. ?TS this character, who late se tion, and hold the team TENness, become generate as lantaed and daring in wesensesCamico restraints are retrocede zin ci conscience is silencede schi Iasi ceases to strive, and the area gaz to a reprobate mind, 3 TASW ancleanness with greedines, co se measure of their iniquities, zin ist. ts perish in unbelief.

But I observe, second, That others who apostatize from Christ, fail into gross and dangerous errors.

Such were Hymeneus and Philetus, of whom Paul speaks (2 Tim. ii. 17. and 18.), who concerning the truth have erred,

saying, that the resurrection is past already, and thereby overthrow the faith

expression, “ If any man draw back. And,

II. To point out some reasons which should determine us to guard against the apostacy here mentioned.

I. By the expression “ to draw back," must certainly be understood a total and final apostacy, as is evident from the clause immediately following the words of the text : “ We are not of those who “ draw back unto perdition.”

But in order to explain its import more particularly, I would observe, in the first place, that some who once were accounted disciples of Christ, have drawn back into open profanity and infidelity.

Of persons of this character the Apostle Peter speaks in his 2d epistle, 2d chap. ver. 20 and 21, when he says: “ For if 6 after they have escaped the pollutions “ of the world, through the knowledge 6 of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, “ they are again entangled therein, and " overcome; the latter end is worse with “ them than the beginning. For it had “ been better for them not to have known “ the way of righteousness, than, after

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