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once our brethren, that are perhaps still our friends, from the awful sentence, which the gospel denounces against all that reject it, without any exception? As to the wretches, that add insult and derision to their infidelity, I tremble to think of that load of guilt, which they are bringing on themselves, and how near they approach to the unpardonable sin, if they have not committed it. For the rest, who behave in a more modest manner, it will, no doubt, be a very difficult task to convince them; and so much the rather, as some of them, by too easy a transition have renounced many of the most important principles of natural religion, nay, I might add, even the whole of it, together with the christian revelation. But the influences of divine grace are almighty; let us recommend them to these, and omit no other proper method, either of recovering those who are already seduced, or at least of securing those who are not yet infected, but may be as most of the youth are, especially in the most populous places, in imminent danger of the contagion. To this end let me add,

3. How reasonable is it, that christians should form a familiar acquaintance with the great evidences of our own cominon faith!

It is what we so apparently owe to the honour of God, to the interest of Christ, to the peace of our own souls, and the edification of others, that I hope, I need not urge it at large; especially considering what was said in the introduction to these discourses. In consequence of all, let it be your care to make the evidences of christianity the subject of your serious reflections, and of your frequent converse: Especially study your bibles, where there are such marks of truth and divinity to be found, that I believe, few that have familiarly known them, and have had a relish for them, were ever brought to make shipwreck of the faith as it is in Jesus. Above all, let it be your care to act on the rules, which are here laid down; and then, you will find your faith growing in a happy proportion, and will experience the truth of our Saviour's declaration, that If any man will resolutely and faithfully do his will, he shall know of the christian doctrine whether it be of God*. I verily believe, it is the purity of its precepts, which lies at the bottom of most men's opposition to it; or a natural pride of heart, which gives them an aversion to so humbling a scheme; or a fond affectation

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yourselves, as well as to compassionate the case of those, to whom it has never been offered, or by whom it is slighted. And this leads me to another reflection;

2. What reason have we to pity those, who reject this glorious gospel, even when they have opportunities of enquiring into its clearest evidences?

Such undoubtedly there are in our own age and nation; and surely we should sometimes bestow a compassionate thought upon them, and lift up an humble prayer for them; If God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are now led captive by him at his pleasure*. We should pity the heathens and Mahometans, under their darkness and errors: But how much more deplorable is the case of those, who, though they dwell in Emmanuel's land, and in the valley of vision, turn it into the valley of the shadow of death, by closing their eyes against so bright a lustre, and stopping their ears against The voice of the charmert? They are indeed in their own conceit the only people, and Wisdom will die with them; so that to be sure, they will scorn our pity: But who can forbear it? Is there a more melancholy thought than this, that the Son of God should have done so much to introduce and establish the gospel, and his Spirit so much to perpetuate and increase its evidence, and that after all, it should be contemptuously despised, even by creatures who are perishing without it? That the blessed Jesus, instead of being received with open arms as the great Deliverer, should either be treated as an empty name; or if acknowledged to be a real person, should then, be represented as a visionary enthusiast or a wicked impostor? for there is no other alternative? And this, not only, though I believe most frequently, by men of profligate and abandoned lives, but sometimes by persons of external morality and decency, of great humanity and sweetness of temper; for such I know are to be found amongst them, as well as men of wit and genius, of politeness and learning, of human prudence and experience in affairs. I may also add, that it is the case of some, who were the children of pious parents, who were trained up in religious exercises, who once discovered serious impressions, and gave very encouraging hopes. Alas, whither are they fallen! and whither have we reason to fear, they will at length fall! How shall we shelter those, that were

once our brethren, that are perhaps still our friends, from the awful sentence, which the gospel denounces against all that reject it, without any exception? As to the wretches, that add insult and derision to their infidelity, I tremble to think of that load of guilt, which they are bringing on themselves, and how near they approach to the unpardonable sin, if they have not committed it. For the rest, who behave in a more modest manner, it will, no doubt, be a very difficult task to convince them; and so much the rather, as some of them, by too easy a transition have renounced many of the most important principles of natural religion, nay, I might add, even the whole of it, together with the christian revelation. But the influences of divine grace are almighty; let us recommend them to these, and omit no other proper method, either of recovering those who are already seduced, or at least of securing those who are not yet' infected, but may be as most of the youth are, especially in the most populous places, in imminent danger of the contagion. To this end let me add,

3. How reasonable is it, that christians should form a familiar acquaintance with the great evidences of our own cominon faith!

It is what we so apparently owe to the honour of God, to the interest of Christ, to the peace of our own souls, and the edification of others, that I hope, I need not urge it at large; especially considering what was said in the introduction to these discourses. In consequence of all, let it be your care to make the evidences of christianity the subject of your serious reflections, and of your frequent converse: Especially study your bibles, where there are such marks of truth and divinity to be found, that I believe, few that have familiarly known them, and have had a relish for them, were ever brought to make shipwreck of the faith as it is in Jesus. Above all, let it be your care to act on the rules which are here laid down; and then, you will find your faith growing in a happy proportion, and will experience the truth of our Saviour's declaration, that If any man will resolutely and faithfully do his will, he shall know of the christian doctrine whether it be of God*. I verily believe, it is the purity of its precepts, which lies at the bottom of most men's opposition to it; or a natural pride of heart, which gives them an aversion to so humbling a scheme; or a fond affectation

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once our brethren, that are perhaps still our friends, from the awful sentence, which the gospel denounces against all that re.. ject it, without any exception? As to the wretches, that add insult and derision to their infidelity, I tremble to think of that load of guilt, which they are bringing on themselves, and how near they approach to the unpardonable sin, if they have not committed it. For the rest, who behave in a more modest manner, it will, no doubt, be a very difficult task to convince them; and so much the rather, as some of them, by too easy a transition have renounced many of the most important principles of natural religion, nay, I might add, even the whole of it, together with the christian revelation. But the influences of divine grace are almighty; let us recommend them to these, and omit no other proper method, either of recovering those who are already seduced, or at least of securing those who are not yet infected, but may be as most of the youth are, especially in the most populous places, in imminent danger of the contagion. To this end let me add,

3. How reasonable is it, that christians should form a familiar acquaintance with the great evidences of our own cominon faith!

It is what we so apparently owe to the honour of God, to the interest of Christ, to the peace of our own souls, and the edification of others, that I hope, I need not urge it at large; especially considering what was said in the introduction to these discourses. In consequence of all, let it be your care to make the evidences of christianity the subject of your serious reflections, and of your frequent converse: Especially study your bibles, where there are such marks of truth and divinity to be found, that I believe, few that have familiarly known them, and have had a relish for them, were ever brought to make shipwreck of the faith as it is in Jesus. Above all, let it be your care to act on the rules,which are here laid down; and then, you will find your faith growing in a happy proportion, and will experience the truth of our Saviour's declaration, that If any man will resolutely and faithfully do his will, he shall know of the christian doctrine whether it be of God*. I verily believe, it is the purity of its precepts, which lies at the bottom of most men's opposition to it; or a natural pride of heart, which gives them an aversion to so humbling a scheme; or a fond affectation

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