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pear to be an instance of consummate folly, to delay for a moment setting about a matter of such importance ? Nay, is it not madness in the extreme to despise or neglect the means which God has instituted for your advancement in holiness, and for securing your everlasting felicity ?-But when you consider, on the other hand, what will be your
be so blind or wicked as to adopt the course of ungodliness, you surely will find reason to pause in your career of folly and danger, and to turn unto the Lord that you may live. The punishment in this case is neither small nor momentary, but is in its nature the most dreadful that can be conceived, and in its duration eternal. * dwell,” says the prophet, 66 with de“ vouring fire; who can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
If, Christians, you have found God's goodness evinced in providing for your comfort and welfare ;-if you have reason to rely with confidence on the truth of his gracious promises to all who fear his name ;--you have the same reason to believe, that as he is a God of
66 Who can
ted holiness and impartial justice he will not pass over transgression, but will put in execution the awful threatenings he has denounced against the workers of iniquity. If, therefore, you are desirous of being happy in this world, or to provide, through a Saviour, for eternal happiness in heaven, “ follow," I beseech you,
“ holiness, without which, no man 66 shall see the Lord.”
May God bless his word, and to his name be all praise.— Amen.
ON THE REST THAT REMAINETH FOR THE
PEOPLE OF GOD.
HEBREWS iv. 9.
There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God.
There is perhaps no principle in our nature more strong or more universal than the desire of immortality,—nothing which the soul thirsts after so ardently as life and happiness for evermore. This kindles the first wish that pants in the human breast. This draws forth the last sigh which accompanies the departing soul to her everlasting habitation. Nay, as soon may we pretend to annihilate the soul herself, though imperishable and immortal, as to extinguish those aspirations and hopes, which animate her exertions
in the pursuit of permanent everlasting felicity. And it is perfectly agreeable to our notions of the wisdom and goodness of our infinite Creator to suppose, that he would never implant in his creatures such desires merely to vex and torment them, without furnishing a suitable object, and laying open the way to its attainment. Accordingly, when we consult the volume of inspiration, we observe to our joy that he hath not disappointed our hopes ;—that he hath not left us to the feeble light of nature, and to the slow and uncertain deductions of reason for such an important discovery. In the sacred oracles of God, and more especially in the revelation made through the Lord Jesus, the truth and reality of a future state are clearly unfolded and fully established. There, we are taught to indulge the most ravishing hopes of exalted and unabated happiness beyond death and the grave. “* By the resurrection of Christ from “ the dead, we (Christians) are begotten
again to the lively hope of an inheri“ tance that is incorruptible, undefiled, " and that fadeth not away, reserved in “ heaven for those who are kept by the
of God through faith unto sal“ vation."
The New Testament writers speak of this matter not in a dark or doubtful manner, but in language of the highest assurance and delight. “ We know," says St Paul, “ that if our earthly house of this “ tabernacle were dissolved, we have a 6 building of God, a house not made with “ hands, eternal in the heavens. But, my
brethren, it is unnecessary to multiply passages in support of a doctrine sa clearly asserted in the words of the text. They alone are sufficient to establish our belief of this essential article of the Christian faith ; for the Apostle positively affirms, that “ there remaineth a rest to the “ people of God."
Both nature and revelation concur in declaring, that this world was never designed to be the place of our everlasting abode. Melancholy, indeed, would be our anticipations, if this life, which comes so speedily to an end, were the whole of our existence, and if we had no prospect and no hope beyond it. But, blessed be God, who has made an original and indelible impression upon the soul, and who has still