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them, yet still love their crimes, cling to them, refuse to separate from them. Will not this probably be your lot also, my young friends, if you longer neglect to seek the God of your fathers ?
Will you say, “ All this is true; of ourselves we shall not be able to turn to God; nevertheless, his grace will be sufficient to dispose and enable us to do it; there is no resistance which it cannot overcome.' God forbid that a minister of Christ should deny the omnipotence of grace, or bound the power of the Most High. We know that, if he pleases, “ he can of the stones raise up children to Abraham.". (Mat. iii. 9.) We know that he can convert the most hardened sinners, if he undertake to do it, if he interpose in their behalf; but will he thus undertake, will he thus interpose, if you now in your youth neglect to seek after him? This is the question which concerns you; let us examine what answer we must make to it.
Grace then is necessary for our conversion. Nevertheless, scripture and reason concur in teaching us that God, in righteous judgment, withholds the internal influences of this grace from certain persons, who have previously abused and neglected it. Grace then being necessary for conversion, and this grace being withheld from these sinners, it is indubitable that they must be sealed up in judicial hardness, and remain for ever unconverted. My brethren,
I view this as the most awful truth of our religion; I stop not to prove it; it has more than once been established from this sacred desk; let us apply it to our subject. The just and sovereign Jehovah then will not for ever bestow the secret inspirations of his grace to be despised, contemned, and rejected; those who now impiously refuse it, and contemptuously neglect it, may hereafter seek for it in vain. And say, young men, have you not cause to fear that this will be your destiny, if, notwithstanding the warnings that are given you, notwithstanding the conviction of your mind, the inward solicitations of your conscience, the suggestions of the Holy Spirit, you form the frightful resolution to give the strength of your years to Satan and the world, contemptuously to reject God, and to bring to him at, last the dregs of a life exhausted in the service of his enemies? Have you not cause to fear, that when you shall have acted conformably to these resolutions, and shall at last come to offer to God a heart infected with vices, a body worn out in crime, a mind filled with false sentiments; have you not cause to fear that he will then refuse you the riches of his grace, and, denying you every mercy, send
back to your first masters whom you have always served ? That he will say to you, .Go to that world to which you have consecrated your youth; let it rescue you from the grave and from perdition, and give you eternal felicity. Go to Sin, your tyrant : let him give you the wages due unto his slaves, death, which is the recompense that he pays to those that serve him. Go to the prince of darkness, to whom you have sold yourselves to do evil: to them you made the offering of your best days, give them also what remains to you.'
Thus, whether we consider the uncertainty of life, or the increasing power of sin, or the bounds set to the day of grace, we must be convinced, that forget* fulness of God in youth, leads almost infallibly to eternal perdition.
And now, my young friends, will you still remain regardless of your duty ? Will you not resolve in
the strength of the Lord to relinquish your worldly life, your ungodly habits, your sins and iniquities? Will you not at length return to your God, to your Father, to your Redeemer? Will
Will you not accept that mercy which is offered to you? Sinner! the God of heaven beholds thee; he hears this exhortation which I now make unto thee. Wilt thou, by neglecting this invitation, force him to take hold on justice, and reject thee from his presence ? Sinner! the eyes of Jesus are fixed upon thee; of that Jesus at whose bar we must shortly stand. He offers to deliver thee from perdition; he offers thee the blessings of his covenant. Oh! trifle no longer with eternity, but instantly resolve, in dependence on his promised grace, to put thy soul under the bonds of his covenant. Go to thy private chamber; there, on thy knees, bewail thy sins and transgressions, and pray for
grace to give thyself up wholly to God. Act thus, and with Josiah you shall be gathered to the church of the first-born in heaven, where you shall shout for ever, " Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever! Amen."
JESUS WEEPING OVER JERUSALEM.
LUKE xix. 41, 42.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept
over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.
When the elder Marcellus had taken Syracuse, after a long and dangerous siege, he was not so much elated by the success of his arms, by the splendour of victory, and the congratulations of his troops, as he was affected by the prospect of that devastation which threatened the city; and instead of insolently triumphing, he melted into tears.* The ancient historians have rightly eulogized this action: it was an unequivocal proof of a tender, feeling, generous soul. But “ a greater than" Marcellus is here.” The conduct of our Saviour exhibits still warmer tenderness, still deeper feeling, still more
* Marcellus, ut mcenia ingressus ex superioribus locis urbem, omnium fermè illa tempestate pulcherrimam, subjectam occulis videt, illachrymasse fertur. Tit. Liv. Hist. lib. XV. See also Plutarch.
elevated generosity. He was now descending from Mount Olivet, and entering into Jerusalem. He is not surrounded, it is true, like a Roman conqueror, by kings in chains, and slaves loaded with the spoils of vanquished nations; but, what is infinitely more splendid, he is encircled by the trophies of his almighty power: by demoniacs, whom he has delivered; by the blind, on whose eyes he has poured the light of day; by the dumb, whose tongues he has loosed, and who shout his praises; by the dead, whom he has caused to spring into new life: he advances to complete the conquest of Satan and of sin, whom he has already bound, in fetters which cannot be broken: he comes, loaded with heavenly spoils and celestial gifts, which were purchased, not by the sack of cities and the dying groans of thousands, but entirely by his own humiliation, and agonies, and blood. The multitude crowd to meet him, strew their garments in his path, with palms in their hands welcome the Prince of peace, and shout hosannas to the son of David. These circumstances would have elated an ordinary mind, and filled it with self-complacency and pride; but in the midst of them he cast his eyes upon the city, which was now in full view, and, anticipating its impending calamities, tenderly wept over it; he knew that, in a few days, it would demand his death, it would nail him to the cross, it would riot in his agonies; yet he still wept over it. Compare then these two scenes; place Marcellus by the side of the Saviour; which character shines with greater lustre? The one displays no haughtiness, although a mighty city has yielded to his arms: the other is humble, although he has forced the laws of nature, although he has stormed and vanquished hell, and unbarred the gates