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“ wisdom,” and love carries it to perfection; but when these find no place in the hearts of men, what can be looked for in such a world as ours, but the rankest growth of folly and wickednels, both in public and private life?
FROM this general review of the LAWS of Christ, you must be sensible, that the fame temper and conduct which we formerly supposed to result from a cordial belief of the DOCTRINES of the gospel, now appear to be expressly enjoined by plain and positive statutes : so that, upon the whole, we are furnished with a decisive test of genuine Christianity, and
and may clearly see, by the light of God's word, what the conversation is that becometh the gospel of Christ.
It gives me pain to repeat the observation I have more than once hinted at, (and yet the evidence of its truth is too glaring to be concealed), namely, that among the multitudes who bear the title of Christians, the conversation of by much the greater part is so far from 'expressing the true fpirit and
genius of our holy, religion, with regard either to the doctrines it reveals, or the duties it requires, that the character of the Cretians may too justly be applied to many of them, Tit, i. 16. “ They profess that they « know God; but in works they deny him, “ being abominable, and disobedient, and
unto every good work reprobate.” To fuch inconsistent usurpers of the Christian name, the obvious remarks with which I introduced
this subject, administer a fevere, but just reproof: and therefore I might here dismiss them without further admonition, were it not that numbers are to be found in that unhappy class of men, who, not contented with publishing their own fhame, by counteracting the principles of that religion they profess, are bold enough to scoff at true godliness in others, and do every thing in their power to enfeeble the hands of real Christians, while they are humbly endeavouring, by the grace of God, to have their conversation as it becometh the gospel of Christ. I know how difficult it is to get access to those who are proudly seated in the scorner's chair ; nevertheless I shall take the liberty to beg their attention to a few plain questions, prayings that God may carry them home to their hearts with power, and so bless them for their conviction, “ that they may yet re
cover themselves out of the snare of the “ devil, who are taken captive by him at his 66 will.” Do you really think it possible, that
any man can love God too well, or serve him with too much zeal and diligence? Do you think, that there is a faint in heaven who repents of his zeal and diligence while on earth ? or a finner in hell, that justifies his fcoffing at serious religion? or do you fuppose, that you yourselves shall approve of such conduct when you come to die, and boldly defend it at the tribunal of Christ?
What can be more unfair, than to scoff at men for being, in truth, the very thing that you pretend to be ? You call yourselves Christians, and at the same time deride those who are Christians indeed : It is your professed belief, that Christ shall judge the world; and when others are giving all diligence that they may be found of him in
peace, they are mocked and reviled, and ha-
These are all the questions | shall put to
character, that if modesty be not altogether banished, I may at least bring you the length of being ashamed of your conduct. But though modesty should be gone, yet as fear and self-love are still left behind, I shall endeavour, in a few words, to give you a just representation of the peculiar malignity of such a course, and of the fatal conseVol. II.
quences with which an obftinate continuance in it must necessarily be attended.
Know, then, that to scoff at the fanctifying work of the Spirit of God, is a sin of so deep a tincture, that it approacheth near to the confines of " the great transgression.” This much I may with confidence affirm, that so long as you persist in it, there is no room for any rational hope that you
shall be saved. With God indeed all things are poffible: he is able of such stones to raise ap children unto Abraham; and therefore fome hope is left that you may be converted : but that
should be saved in your present course, is just as impoflible as it is for God to lie, as impossible as for the devils to be faved. It is an astonishing proof of the power and cunning of the grand deceiver, that he should be able to hide this alarming truth from your own eyes. The scorner bears upon
his forehead one of the most diftinguishing marks of a son of perdition. Of fuch transgressors it may be said with an awful emphafis, “ their spot is not the spot “ of children.” -Other finners may
find some cloke to throw over their guilt: the