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insincerity, the impotence, the transitoriness of the peace of the world, contrasted with the sincerity, the power, the duration of the peace of Jesus: these will claim your attention in this part of the discourse.

1. When the world exclaims to us, Peace be unto you! this exclamation is often void of sincerity. A person need only cast a rapid glance over the world, to find numbers, whose words, instead of being the unequivocal interpreters of their sentiments, are in direct opposition to them; numbers, who cultivate with assiduity the execrable art of concealing the most unworthy designs, by an imposing and affectionate exterior; numbers, who with a cruel dexterity dissemblé the emotions of their soul that they may abuse the unsuspecting sincerity of those with whom they converse; numbers, who embrace with seeming cordiality him whose ruin they are meditating; who decorate and adorn with garlands the victim that they are leading to the slaughter. How often, whilst the heart is warmed by no tender feeling, whilst it is freezing with indifference, nay, whilst it is rankling with envy, or disquieted by anger, do professions of regard and attachment proceed from the lips! How often are proffers of service, and desires for our happiness, uttered by the mouth that has just been employed in stabbing our reputation, and that in a few minutes will load us with slanders, and hold us up to ridicule! Such is the world ; and he who, believing all its professions, relies upon it, is just as wise as the man who should attempt to rear an edifice on the light air, or on the yielding waves of the sea. I do not give an exaggerated representation of its insincerity. Those of you will attest its truth, who, deceived by vain assurances of affection, by feigned expressions of respect, supposed that you

had found warm and real friends; but who, in the hour of trial, have found these pretended friends, on whose professions and caresses you confidently relied, cold, distant, insensible to the voice of your needs, treacherously abandoning you.

Those of you will attest its truth, who have been the dupes of the men whom you imagined truly attached to your interests; whose confidence has been betrayed by those in whom you supposed it most surely placed ; who have found by sad experience, that the professions of the world are generally a stratagem which self-love employs for the accomplishment of its designs. Yes, my brethren, it is too evident, that when the world, with a flattering voice and a smiling countenance, cries to us, Peace be unto you, this wish generally comes not from the heart, and is infected with the mortal poison of insincerity.

Disgusted with its treachery, indignant at its falsehood, let us turn our thoughts towards the Saviour. He also exclaims, Peace be unto you ; he also cries, Peace I leave with you ; but he gives this peace to his disciples, not as the world does. There is no falsehood, no dissimulation in the expressions of his friendship, in the good wishes which he utters; they proceed from a heart which never knew guile, into which deceit never entered. Hating and reproving every sin, his indignation was however peculiarly excited by fraud and hypocrisy; and if he ever laid aside his meekness and gentleness, it was to direct his thunders and pronounce his woes upon the Pharisees, whose outward deportment and language accorded not with their inward sentiments. 6 All his promises are yea and amen:” “ None ever trusted in him, and were confounded.” He never deceived the hope, he never betrayed the confidence

of a single soul that relied upon his assurances, and rested

upon his word. In thus commending the Saviour, do I assert what is questionable and incapable of proof? Ah no! every single believer on earth, every single glorified spirit in heaven, is ready to lift up his voice, and avouch the faithfulness, the veracity, the sincerity, of his Redeemer. Believers, tell the unhappy men who have no other reliance than a world which perpetually dupes, deludes, disappoints them, that the Saviour is a friend who will never frustrate their expectations, who will in the hour of trial justify his sincerity by the most clear and unequivocal proofs. Tell them that when in seasons of affliction and distress the world abandoned you, and forgot all those professions which it so prodigally made in the hour of your prosperity, the promises of Jesus were not neglected by him, his declarations were verified by the consolations which he gave you, and the unkindness and treachery of others were forgotten, whilst with the beloved disciple, you leaned on his sympathizing bosom, and there poured out your griefs and disburdened your sorrows. Inhabitants of heaven, ye can declare that during the whole course of your pilgrimage on earth, your heavenly friend ever attested the sincerity of his affection by fulfilling every promise, by satisfying every hope which he authorized you to form, by “ never leaving nor forsaking you.” Ye can tell us, that when in your closing hours you

committed your departing souls with all their wants, and sins, and interests to him, he proved a faithful Redeemer, receiving your disembodied spirits into his embraces, appearing as their Advocate and Saviour before the eternal throne, blotting out all their sins by the precious blood which gushed from his veins upon Calvary, and imputing to them his perfect righteousness. Ye can tell us, that in the land of blessedness in which you dwell, all his promises are fulfilled, all his assurances verified, all your expectations exceeded; and having thus suspended for a moment your adoration, to proclaim to us the praises of your Saviour, ye again will fall before his throne and with renewed fervour exclaim, - Faithful and true are all thy ways, thou King of Saints !!!!

Oh, my brethren! ought we not to seek the friendship of such a Saviour? Amidst the fluctuations and miseries of life, we need some sure support on which we may confidently lean, some faithful friend on whom we may unreservedly rely: an insincere world is not calculated to be such a support, such a friend : an insincere world will act towards us as the treacherous Joab did to Amasa, come with the accents of peace in its mouth, while it is preparing to stab us to the heart: a sincere, a faithful, a guileless Jesus, is such a sure support, such a precious friend.

2. When the world exclaims to us, Peace be unto you, it is not always insincere and deceitful; but even when it most strongly desires our felicity, it is weak, and without power to afford us a complete felicity. Man is feeble, indigent, unhappy. We are subject to so many infirmities, so many afflictions surround us, so many evils assail us, that it is impossible to make the humiliating detail of them ; and surely, then, it is impossible that the world can remove them. Tell me, ye mortals, who are blest with a generous temper, and placed in a situation where you can exercise your friendship by the bestowal of all the favours which the world idolizes ; tell me, what are the enjoyments which your friends may expect from you? A 'little 'wealth, a little glory, some pleasures, some advantages, which always bear that stamp of imperfection that is attached to all terrestrial objects. This is all that your most ingenious and most communicative kindness can bestow. But, I appeal to yourselves, can this make me perfectly happy, since I have numberless inward sources of sorrow which are not at all affeeted by these outward blessings ? To be happy, the guilt of sin must be removed from my soul, and the reign of sin in my heart be abolished : to be happy, my mind must be enlightened, my soul purified, my affections and passions restored to order and harmony, my will subjugated to the will of God, my eternal felicity secured, and an offended Judge converted into a tender Father. The aching void in my heart will not be filled, till these effects be produced : tell me, generous mortals, can you produce them? Can you avert ten thousand other evils which press upon me, and prevent me from being perfectly happy? Oh no! though you say from the heart, Peace be unto you ; though you sincerely desire that I should enjoy a consummate and unmingled felicity, yet your power, far more limited than your wishes, prevents you from conferring it on me.

Thus unable to find full happiness from the world, shall we, my brethren, entirely despair of attaining it? No, for Jesus gives peace not as the world does ; his wishes can all be accomplished, for his power

is irresistible. Raise your thoughts then from feeble mortals to the mighty Saviour: “ He is able to do abundantly above what we ask or think ;” he gives unmingled felicity to angels ; can he not satisfy worms? The possessor of heaven and of earth, he can at his will dispose of the treasures which they

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