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appear? Far on the left of God's throne he stands, his doom to hear, and then to be “banished from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” Surely this will constitute the climax of his suffering. And the remembrance of his misspent life, even of his revelry and mirth, will enhance and augment his anguish forever.
“O my soul! come not thou into the habitation of (drunkards); unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united."
II. We proceed, in the second place, to support and enforce the caution of the text by a few appropriate reasons.
“Thou shalt not follow a multitude." Because we should remember that the sins of others will not excuse us.
Others making or selling liquors or being intemperate will not lessen the sin in me.
If I am guilty, I must suffer for myself. Because many are engaged in this evil, it is not, therefore, less an evil unto me. It is written, “every man shall bear his own burden." And again, “If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it."
It is said, “misery loves company." Yet company does not actually lessen misery. Though we have reason to fear and to believe that myriads through this means have found their way to the regions of despair, yet each has his individual cup of anguish. Each will have a dreadful state of sad despair, where not one ray from Bethlehem's Star shall glimmer through the dark abyss of woe.
There those who have sinned in common, we have reason to believe, will meet. The consumer of liquors may justly reproach him who was the vender, and say, “Had you not sold me drinks I had spent life in yonder world, as God designed ; I had lived soberly, righteously, and godly,' and escaped this place of woe!” And the vender may say to the manufacturer, “Had you not changed the order of the beneficent Creator, and made of grain, not bread, but deadly poison, I had been guiltless, and perhaps escaped this doleful place!” And the manufacturer may well exclaim, “O cursed love of wealth, for thee I made what I knew would be followed by ruinous results; for thee I have lost my soul, and am damned, and justly damned!"
How awful when the soul shall be fully awaked from its lethargy, never more to slumber or to rest in a moment's peace! Well may the unhappy spirit in soliloquy exclaim:
“Ah! must I dwell in torturing despair,
In conclusion, suffer me further to enforce the salutary caution, “Follow not a multitude to do evil.” Are those who manufacture, vend, and use intoxicating drinks wealthy? Follow them not. Are they united to you by kindred ties? Follow them not. Do they occupy an honorable standing? Follow them not.
If you would dread mournful reflection in the final hour that you had been instrumental in the ruin of your fellow-beings, avoid the business which is productive of so much ill. would shun the drunkard's grave and hell, SO
And as you
heed this caution, and that given by the apostle: “Touch not, taste not, handle not the unclean thing."
And if you have hitherto been thoughtless on this subject, and have gone with the many to do this evil, let me beseech you to examine the ground you have occupied ; and in so doing you will perceive that it is detrimental, disreputable, and destructive, yea, that it is wholly incompatible with the high and honorable standing which a rational, intelligent, immortal being should occupy. Therefore, change your position, and, through the grace which to "all men hath appeared," you shall be instructed how to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.” And then will you wield an influence, no longer for evil, but for good, upon the destiny of others, And when the close of life shall come, you may peacefully expire in the hope of a blissful immortality.
THE FINAL HOUR OF THE
“THESE WORDS SPAKE JESUS, AND LIFTED UP HIS EYES TO HEAVEN,
AND SAID, FATHER, THE HOUR IS COME.”—John xvii. 1.
HE farewell address of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ to His disciples is fraught
with important instruction, and abounds with heavenly consolation.
“Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." Hence, in His valedictory He failed not to say all that infinite wisdom and love judged necessary to prepare them for His departure, to qualify them for their work, to arm them against the temptations of Satan, to encourage them to face a frowning world, to console them in all their tribulations, to prevent apostacy, and to promote fidelity to their Master, zeal in His cause, sacrifice in their lives, and success in their ministry.