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recorded failings of some eminent saints may be so far perverted, as to cherish the presumption and soothe the consciences of various kinds of finners ; but where do we read of any among the saints who scoffed at holiness, or spake reproachfully of the ways of God ? Surely no man of common understanding can suppose; that a fcorner of a holy life is himfelf poflefsed of that holiness which he derides. I would not for a world, said one, be in the case of that wretch who speaketh well of holiness in others, while he himself lives in sensuality and wickedness : but I would much less, for a thousand worlds, be in the case of him that is neither godly, nor can speak well of god. liness; who is not only void of the image of God, but hates, and reviles, and persecutes it in others. Consider, O finners! while yet there is hope, how terrible your eternal state must be, if death overtake you in this malignant course. The Lord Jesus is now calling upon you in mercy, and saying unto you, as once he faid to Saul; “ Why persecutest thou me?" But if you do not hearken to his voice, and turn from
. your evil way, ere long “ he will speak to “ you in wrath, and vex you in his fore “ displeasure :” for “ behold, the Lord “ cometh with ten thousands of his faints,
to execute judgement upon all, and to con“ vince all that are ungodly among them, • of all their ungodly deeds which they have “ ungodly committed, and of all their bard “ Speeches which ungodly finners have spo“ ken against him.” There is an alarming passage, (Psal. vii. 11, 12, 13.), which I would recommend to your serious perusal: «c God judgeth the righteous, and God is « angry with the wicked every day. If he “ turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath “ bent his bow, and made it ready. He “ hath also prepared for him the inftru~ ments of death; he ordaineth his arrows “ against the perfecutors.” God himself hath undertaken the defence of the juft : Christ will finally be glorified in his faints, when all their enemies shall be cast out of his fight, overwhelmed with shame, and doomed to everlasting contempt and mifery.
Thus far have I spoken for the conviction and reproof of those who have the boldness to scoff at vital religion and practical godliness; and shall now conclude the subject with a few words of advice and encouragement to the true servants of Christ, who feel the influences of his gospel, and are determined, through grace, to live unto Him who died for them,
Let me then call upon you to lay your account with opposition in your way heavenward. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you ; but rather rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of the sufferings of your Lord, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. You have good company, you have powerful assistance, and glorious hopes: “ If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, “ happy are ye; for the Spirit of God and “ of glory resteth upon you.” “ Stand “ fast," therefore, as the Apostle exhorts you in the words following my text, “ in
one spirit, with one mind, striving to« gether for the faith of the gospel ; and in phone nothing terrified by your adversaries :
Z 3 " which
“ which is to them an evident token of per“ dicion, but to you of salvation, and that ► of God. For unto you it is given, in the “ behalf of Christ, not only to believe on “ him, but also to suffer for his fake.” Beware of courting the favour of the wicked, by conforming in any degree to their corrupt maxims and practices ; but keep up the majesty of true godlinefs, and study fo to live, that they may find no occasion against you, except it be concerning the law of your God. « Be blameless and harmless, the “ fons of God, without rebuke, in the midst © of a crooked and perverse nation, among
whom ye shine as lights in the world, “ holding forth the word of life.” “Fi“ nally, brethren, whatfoever things are “ true, whatsoever things are honest, whatço foever things are juft, whatsoever things " are pure, whatsoever. things are lovely, & whatfoever things are of good report: If ự there be any virtue, and if there be any « praife, think on these things;” “and
the God of peace shall be with you." Amen.
Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and
whether we die, we die into the Lord: Whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord's.
THE following verse will inform you
1 who that Lord is of whom the Apostle speaks in this passage. “To this end,” saith he, “ Christ both died, and rose, and re« vived, that he might be Lord both of “ the dead and living." He is the King whom God hath set upon his holy hill of Zion, and appointed to be the head over all things to the church: for as Paul wrote to the Philippians, in regard of his humbling himself, and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; “ therefore “ God also hath highly exalted him, and “ given him a name, which is above every
24 . " name;