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vious truth in these statements, when put distinctly, as I have been enabled to put them this morning, in the plainest and simplest language, without the smallest disguise or artifice, or any one thing to support them but their truth and importance, and the dignity of the subjects I have been handling, that I am persuaded there cannot be an individual who hears me that is not convinced of the reasonableness of my arguments and the justness of my exhortations.

But one word more.-Beware of damping, quenching, stifling the good Spirit of God. If ye persist in doing violence to conscience, by frequenting pernicious, dangerous, ungodly amusements, and by joining in worldly gratifications, I can tell you it will be utterly in vain for you to pray for an increase of faith. If ye resist Satan, he will fly from you: if ye resist the good Spirit of God, he will infallibly leave you. I do therefore earnestly entreat every one, whose conscience trembles at joining in the approaching scenes of dissipation about to take place among you, to halt and reflect, and not to stifle convictions. Ye believe in the presence of God: Now, can ye believe that Almighty God is present

in such scenes with his blessing? Can ye believe this verily to be so? I know ye do not believe it: the utmost length ye can reach is, that you hope there may be no harm in such things; and therefore you may hope God will overlook such things. Brethren, He whose eyes are described as a flame of fire, overlooks nothing-forgets nothing. He needs not to note them in his book: when they are said to be noted there, it is merely speaking to us as men, to convince us that God never forgets.

I know not how much may, indeed, depend upon the very admonition I am now using. Of this I am sure, no man can say that the salvation of an immortal soul may not depend upon it. You all believe that God's Spirit strives with men; and you also believe that God's patience may be worn out, and he may cease to strive. Oh, brethren! then never walk near the edge of a precipice! Life is short-several of us may not live the next few days-and not one of you here present will deny that I am in my duty on this occasion. My advice, my prayer, is, that ye may have as good grounds for believing yourselves to be equally in your duty. It is at your peril, not

mine, if ye neglect this advice. I cannot, I will not suppose, that a single soul can treat it with levity or derision. If ye neglect exhortations and admonitions of this kind, ye may have to lament it to eternity: I, also, shall have to lament, that the truly warm and affectionate spirit which has dictated many discourses from this pulpit, and this discourse in particular, has not produced the intended effect. But I solemnly appeal to that God of all wisdom and knowledge, whose precious and glorious attributes I have been laying before you this day with the Gospel of His Son, that no earthly thing in which I am concerned could give me one-thousandth part of the gratification which I should receive on finding, that, not the few, but the many, not the little, but the great flock in this city were manifestly growing in grace and the knowledge of their Saviour—were turning from dead works to serve the living God-were praying incessantly, with the Apostles in my text, for an "increase of faith;"-and that, therefore, after this our pilgrimage on earth was finished, we were all of the number of those who should meet together again in the blessed mansions of everlasting rest.

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SERMON VIII.

PROV. xiv. 9.

Fools make a mock at sin.

THE original of this passage will bear another translation, not, indeed, materially different in sense: nevertheless, it may deserve to be mentioned, as it has a tendency to illustrate the views of the inspired writer. "Fools make a mock at sin." The other translation is, "Fools have a method of interpreting, palliating, excusing, or explaining away their sins." No doubt this method of treating sin, by which men strive to hide its real enormity from their own eyes, as well as from the eyes of others, is, to all intents and purposes, treating sin with levity, making a mock at sin, turning it into a jest, and inaking the most serious subject in the world a matter of diversion and merriment. To hear a man, for example,

undertake to defend falsehood, debauchery, duelling, under the specious names of discretion, address, spirit, and courage, what is all this but making a mock at sin?

I propose not, however, to insist on any alteration in the translation; for the more usual sense of the words in the Book of Proverbs, where they occur in various places, is, to make a mock at sin, or to sport with sin; to deride or scorn sin; and the like. The other sense, however to excuse, to interpret, and explain away sin-may very well be included, as it seems to illustrate the manner in which foolish men make a mock at sin. Such men see nothing of its destructive nature. Sin appears to them a trifle: and their own personal sins are very slight matters indeed; there is in them nothing on account of which they think it worth while to be very uneasy. Then they have much to say very in defence of them, or at least in their palliation. There are scarcely any enormities, however dreadful, but they can put some plausible colour on them. Now all this is really making a light thing, a jest, a mock of sin. Such men scorn and deride those who view sin in a serious light, as a great evil, offensive to God

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