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and garments of everlastitig praise for your present fpirit of heaviness. - This holy grief, as you learn from the context, máy be a means of securing you against temporal judgements; at any rate, it will fweeten them, and shall undoubtedly be fucceeded with fulness of joy at God's right hand.
But you will remember, that grief for abounding iniquity, if pure and genuine, is always accompanied with vigorous eňdeavours to reclaim tranfgressors. This, then, my brethren, is what God demands and expects from you. Let every one in his station contribute his aid for the fuppression of vice, and for promoting the interests of pure and undefiled religion. · Let us join hand in hand in this necessary work and labour of love. Fired with zeal for the glory of God, and fervent charity to the fouls of men, let us not only high and cry for the abominations that are done in the midst of our land, but do all that we can to prevent the ruin of a sinful nation. Hereby we Shall become public blessings
while we live, and shall at last, through the mercy of God in Chrift, have an entrance ministered unto us into that better world, where all tears Thall be wiped away from our eyes, where the inhabitants are altogether unstained, and the joys absolutely perfect ; where, with one heart, and one voice, we shall celebrate the praises of Zion's King ;-afcribing glory and honour, dominion and power, to him that fitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen.
Because sentence against an evil work is not * executed speedily; therefore the beart of the fons of men is fully set in them to do evil. .. .
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THough God had not favoured us with
1 an explicit revelation of his will, yet that absolute perfection which reason must attribute to the Supreme Being, would naturally lead us to conclude, that he cannot look upon fin without the greatest abhorrence'; and in consequence thereof, that his impartial justice, and almighty, power, will not always suffer that abominable thing which he hates, to pass unpunished. Accordingly we find, that the conscience of man, till a long habit' of finning hath rendered it callous and insensible, gives a reluctant assent to the equity of such punishment, by that anguilh which it raiseth in the finner's mind
upon the commission of any gross and heinous transgression. This made Judas to cry out after his vile treachery, “ I have “ betrayed innocent blood.” Nay, so powerfully was his heart smitten with a sense of the demerit of his crime, that, despairing of pardon, he in a manner anticipated the sentence of condemnation, and became the executioner of Divine justice, by laying violent hands upon himself. And the Apostle Paul testifies concerning the Gentilé world, that even they, by the light of nature, and the dictates of unaslisted reason, “ knew “the judgement of God ;” and universally acknowledged, with respect to many acts of atrocious wickedness, " that they who ci committed such things were worthy of 6 death."
But the facred records have put this matter beyond all uncertainty. There “ the « wrath of God is revealed from heaven “ against all unrighteousness and ungodli“ ness of men:” and a curse is denounced against every one, without exception, “ who “ continueth not in all things which are “ written in the book of the law to do them."
So that a sentence is passed, and stands in force, against every evil work: and the words of Solomon, which I have chosen for the subject of the following discourse, represent to us,—-on the one hand, the marvellous patience of God in suspending the execution of this righteous sentence ;-and, on the other hand, mens vile abuse of this unmerited goodness. Instead of being led to repentance, they grow bolder in fin; and “ because sentence against their evil works is
not speedily executed, therefore their heart s is fully set in them to do evil.”
There is an awful emphasis in the last of these expressions: it denotes the extreme wickedness that finners may arrive at; not only to commit fin when assaulted with violent temptations, but to make an habitual trade of it; nay, to employ themselves in it with delight. Their heart is so fully fet in them to do evil, that all their faculties bend that way. Thus we read of some “ who drink iniquity like water;"_" who “ devise mischief upon their beds, and set « themselves in a way that is not good ;" nay, who put themselves to incredible pains, Vol. II.