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thing as dear and important to you, as the hand that earns your food, the foot on which you pursue your labours, the eye which warns you of a thousand dangers, and which is the source of a thousand satisfactions; what though any thing, thus dear and useful, should ensnare your immortal soul yet part with it; yes, part with it, though it cost you as much exquisite torture to do so, as it would to tear the tender eye from its socket, and to cut away the right hand and foot from the body they support and adorn. Part with the dear cause of destruction, though, through its loss, the rest of your days were even to be spent in misery and want. Yet mind not the miseries of an hour, to escape those of eternity; mind not all that a feeble body can endure, to escape the worm that never dieth, and the fire that never shall be quenched. It is better to enter into eternal life, with this loss and suffering, than to perish for ever. Better, far better, were it for you, to go, if needful, through pain, and want, and wretchedness, to heaven; than through comfort, and ease, and prosperity to hell. Solemn and awakening charge! O that it were felt by every heart! Awful, awful warning, repeated six times over by a compassionate Saviour's lips, that there the fire never shall be quenched.
Will you, my young friend, listen to his words? Will you, if you have not yet done so, now give your youth to God, and receive the blessed Jesus as your all in all? If you refuse, O may the God of mercy grant, that wherever you go in your mad career of business or of pleasure, the words of Christ may follow you, and still thunder in your ear, that in that dismal abode, whither sin and folly lead the soul, the fire never shall be quenched! Flee then from it! Flee for your life! Flee for your soul! If milder motives have not moved you, what can awaken you, if this warning of the Lord's cannot? Flee from the dear delights of sin, that are binding you over to perdition! They conduct to that hell, where the fire never, never, never, shall be quenched. Flee from sins, that have ruled you to the present hour! or they will shortly fix you where the worm of remorse and despair, can never, never die. Flee, or ere long the fire of hell, flashing in your face, will tell you that your day of grace is past; and the worm that never dieth, rising in your soul, will sting you with inexpressible and everlasting sorrows.
Divine love a reason for early piety.
HISTORY relates that one of those happy and triumphant saints, who passed through the sorrows of martyrdom, to the glories of heaven, just before he expired, lifting up his burning hands from the midst of the flames, exclaimed," None but Christ; none but Christ." In this and ten thousand other instances, martyrdom itself was cheerfully borne, through love to the adorable Saviour. But whence sprung this fervent love? The apostle's words reply, "We love him because he first loved us.' My young friend, let me call your attention to this most pleasing, and most powerful niotive, for devoting your youth to God. Martyrs loved their God, because he had first loved them. Martyrs died for their Redeemer, because he had first died for them; but consider, I beseech you, that all which was done for them, was done for you. That love which won their hearts, has been manifested for you as well as them. God, in the gospel, is as kind to you, as he was to them; heaven as open to you as it was
to them; and Jesus has died for you as well as for them. Spend, then, a few serious moments in meditating on divine love. I have glanced at this subject before, but now entreat you to consider more fully the love of God and the love of Christ.
The gift of Christ is uniformly represented in the scriptures, as caused by the love of God. That blessed book assures us that the divine Redeemer did all that he did, and endured all that he endured, in consequence of the love of God to a ruined world. The testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ to this momentous truth, is given in the plainest words; his inspired apostles assert the same. "God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Does the motive of a giver enhance the value of a gift? how then should you value Jesus, the best gift of God! In the gospel the infinite Lord of lords is displayed, as stooping from the throne of his eternal majesty to interest himself in your behalf; and love to helpless and guilty man appears the directing motive, even in the conduct of the Most High. "God so loved the world!"
The love of God was enhanced by his
knowledge of the deep abasement and cruel neglect, which awaited his beloved Son. Before time began, he was intimately acquainted with all that would occur in time; and before Jesus left the bosom of the Father, he foresaw through what scenes his beloved Son would pass. He saw the Saviour on the cross, before the cross was formed; and heard his expiring groan before that groan was uttered. The Most High knew that the blessed Jesus would not be loved, admired, and followed; he knew that gracious friend of sinners would have, for his attendants, a few despised and persecuted men; would be without a dwelling, except the chance one which a few friends afforded, and sometimes, in the most literal sense, without a place to lay his head. He knew that the shouts which awaited his beloved Son 66 were, Crucify him, crucify him; away with him; not this man but Barabbas; his blood be on us, and on our children." This was the reception the blessed Sufferer met with, from the world he came to save; a reception foreseen by his heavenly Father, who displayed his own boundless love, in bestowing such a gift on such a world. Well might Christ say, God SO loved the world. His compassion is beyond description. Oh the heights and breadths, and depths, and lengths