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ment awaiting the impenitent and incorrigible, but we cannot prevail upon you to dread the latter, and anxiously to desire the former, for notwithstanding all the arguments that we make use of, all the comparisons we borrow, all the passages of scripture we quote, all the examples we produce, all the modes of reasoning we adopt, all the powerful remarks we bring forward for these important ends, we find some will trifle, and others will sleep, though there be but a step between them and death.

And now, brethren, let me ask, whether your sins are called to remembrance? Whether you are convicted of sin as transgressors? Then by all that is sacred, cherish these convictions. Care not for the pain they may occasion, regard not the uneasiness they may cause-remember, they are salutary; to stifle them is to grieve God's spirit, to resist the truth, to provoke divine wrath, to do violence to conscience, to seal, as it were your death warrant. Once more then, I urge you to go to a Saviour, since time is upon the wing, your glass is running out so many sands less than at the last Sabbath, so many pulses less to beat than when we assembled here before, so many rising and setting suns less to behold, and above all, an awful eternity is at hand into which we shall



shortly be launched, there to experience unutterable woe or inexpressible happiness, while endless ages roll.

Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; be ascribed all honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.

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If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and *** "upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.

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THIS is styled a General Epistle, because it is not directed to any particular Church, but to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. St. James, the author of this epistle, was called the Just, on account of his eminent piety; he suffered martyrdom in common with the rest of the apostles. In the beginning of this chapter he informs his Christian brethren to whom he wrote, that it is their priviledge to rejoice in the midst of trials and temptations, knowing this, says he, that the trying of your faith worketh patience; but let patience have its perfect work, that ye 'may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Then follows the words of the text, from which I shall notice four particulars: first, our deficiency with respect to wisdom. Secondly, shew

to whom we must apply for this excellent gift. Thirdly, in what manner we are to apply for it. Fourthly, the encouragement afforded us for the application of wisdom.

I purpose then, in the first place, to consider the deficiency we labour under in regard to wisdom. Wisdom, says Solomon, excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. Man, since the fall, is destitute of true wisdom: he is wise indeed, to do evil, but to do good, he has no knowledge. Now true wisdom consists in cultivating the favour of God, in maintaining a conscience void of offence, in resisting every solicitation to sin, in opposing every unlawful propensity, in repelling every temptation to evil, in withstanding every unlawful desire,every iniquitous practice, every unholy disposition, every vicious inclination; in a word, every improper thought, word, and action. But how few, in a comparative sense, are seeking the divine favour; how few have the testimony of their conscience that they please God; how few are striving against sin; on the contrary, sin predominates in families, towns, and kingdoms; sin prevails among all orders and descriptions of mankind. Now can there be a greater proof of folly, to speak in the figurative language of scripture, than to forsake the fountain of living waters, and to hew out for ourselves broken cisterns which can hold no water. That is, in

plain terms, to depart from the Creator, and to trust in the creature. Numbers act wisely with regard to this world; the unjust steward in the gospel, did, and was commended by his lord for so doing, and if there were no future state of rewards and punishments, no final day of accounts, no after reckoning, there would be no inconsistency in laying up treasures upon earth, no impropriety in being attached to the present world; but as we are expressly assured from God's infallible word, that this state is merely probationary, only, as it were, a passing scene, that we are but tenants at will, those persons betray the greatest folly imaginable whose hopes and expectations of happiness are centered in this chequered state of existence,

I proceed, in the second place, to shew to whom we must apply for this excellent gift; and to whom should we apply, but to that Almighty Being who is the source and fountain of wisdom, in whom, says the apostle, are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and is emphatically styled by St. Paul, "The only wise God." His wisdom is infinite; Who can find out the Almighty to perfection? There is no searching of his understanding. In the 11th chapter of the Romans, the apostle exclaims-O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out. It is our duty,

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