Page images

They were the first disciples of our Lord, men of Innocence and Simplicity; who, without fearfulness or Hypocrisy, were to preach the Gof. pel to an incredulous world. In ihis Situation they might expect op. position of every kind; and in this cause even Life itself was to be laid down with pleasure. But what was the Enjoyment of a few transitory days, to the duration of an endless reward? Or what would have been their gain, if, like Judas, they had denied their Lord, and for the sake of a few trifling pieces of silver, had groaned out a succession of ages in misery ?-Be not afraid of them that kill the body and after that have no more that they can do: but I wall forewarn you whom you shall (rather) fear, fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into Hell ; yea, I say unto you, fear Him

Collect your thoughts, my brethren, and look forward with me to

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


the last Judgment, a time which will surely arrive, and to many of us may be near at hand. While I thus address you on so awful a subject, a tremor runs thro' my frame; when I reflect how dreadful that day will be to the unrepenting Sinner. Look ing upon this circle, I shudder at the idea of multitudes, paying the penaloy of fin in those unhappy re. gions, where“ their worm dieth not and the fire is not gåenched." * God knows, every one of us, the very best of men, offendeth seven times a day; what all then bé faid to you, who have tranfgreffed fo many laws, and with fo mariy aggravations? What! but that the forgiveness of the Gospel is not cir. cumfcribed I fay not 'unto you till seven times, fays our merciful Saviour and our judge, but until seventy times feven. **


. Mark ix. 44.

+ Mat. xviii. 22.

· Impressed with this Idea, we can come boldly forward, and stand bez fore the Throne of Grace. Here, however, what have we to offer? Not our own works, for thefe have been defective in every effential point; but the works of him," who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanclification, and redemption."* ".For, as the Apostle emphatically describes the situation of man, without the knowledge of the Gospel, “ we ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers Lusts and Pleasares, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating, one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righte. ousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he faved as, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy Ghoft; which


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

1 Cor. i. 30.


he shed on us abundantly, thro' Jesus Christ our Saviour ; that, being justified by his Grace, we should be made heirs, according to the Hope of eternal life.” *

Tho' it cannot but be confessed, that we are all offenders in different degrees, yet it is evident, on how sure a foundation the hope of a Christian rests. For our Sins, fincerely repented of, or wilfully committed, we must be justified or conie demned at this tribunal. « For we must all appear before the Judg. ment-leat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body,' according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing, therefore, continues the Apoftle, these terrors of the Lord, we persuade men.”+ - I would above all things recommend the consideration of this day to your most serious thoughts. You cannot but be sensible, that it will arrive; and you must know, that if it come . upon you unawares, your Souls not det in order, your lins yet unrepented of, that your portion must be “ weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth."'* Suppose that you were now.called upon to answer at this bar. What confusion and horror would arise! What dreadful, but just forebodings of punishment ! What could you then say, but that you had juft finished the perpetraLion of some horrid wickedness, that you had just injured your neighbour, either by open violence or secret mischief, ihat your hands 'were hardly free from blood, either unjuftly spilled or maliciously intended? If the question should be asked: you, whence come ye ? Would ye not be confounded to answer,'" From an earthly prison,


• Tit. iii. 3-7.

t 2 Cor. v. 30, 11.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »