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happiness to consit in a plentiful estate, others place it in earthly gratifications, in sensual delights, in carnal mirth, in criminal indulgencies, whereas it consists in the government of the temper, in the command of the appetites, in the subjugation of the passions, in the right ordering of the conversation, in intercourse, with the Father, fellowship with the Son, and communion with the Holy Spirit. This is happiness in the full scuse of the word, this is pleasure the most refined, comfort the most substantial, good the most solid, joy the most satisfactory; this is what St. Paul felt when he was taken, up into the third heavens, when he was caught up into paradise; yea this is the bliss of angels, this constitutes the felicity of those celestial spirits; and do you not long, my brethren, to experience these ravishing joys; to taste these heavenly delights? Are you not athirst for this supreme felicity, for this final good of man? Ah methinks some of you have no wish for any thing of this kind, no desire to partake of this sort of happiness; and why is this? because you are unpar doned sinners, and consequently know nothingof the peace passing understanding, the joy which the world can neither give nor take away; you cannot comprehend that saying of Jesus Christ-He that drinketh of the water that 1 shall give him shall never thirst; that is, he that once has tasted of my love, by having it

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shed abroad in his heart, as St. Paul speaks, shall never more seek his happiness in created good, he shall never more immoderately desire the things of time, no more than a person at ease wishes for pain, or one in health longs for sickness.

I shall now conclude with two or three remarks. My brethren, are you trusting in the Lord in the way I have been pointing out? Are not many of you leaning to your own understanding, refusing to ask counsel and direction from heaven, forgetting that you are dependent creatures, fallible and short sighted mortals, liable to be imposed upon by the world, the flesh, and the devil, subject to the artifices of this three-fold enemy? O that you were aware of this, that you were mindful of your frailty, sensible of your weakness, conscious of your guilt, apprised of your danger, then how circumspectly you would walk, how cautiously you would proceed, how ardently would you pray, how attentively would you hear, how frequently would you pause and reflect, then what value would you set upon the soul, what solicitude would you manifest to please your God, what care would you exercise to maintain a good conscience, what striving would there be to enter the straight gate, what labour to reach heaven, what anxiety to secure a place in paradise; but alas! how little do we see of this.

The Gospel comes to you in word only, not in power, for what reformation is there in this parish? How awful is the Sabbath profaned in this place, how are the solemn duties of this holy day neglected, how many count the Sabbath a weariness, and are glad when it is passed? If the service of religion is so irksome now, what will ye do above where an everlasting Sabbath will be kept? O brethren, awaken from the lethargy of sin, arise from the stupor of unbelief, and Christ shall give you life.

SERMON IV.

JOHN, CHAP. 3, VERSE 7.

Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.

THESE words form a part of the conversation which took place between Christ and Nicodemus respecting regeneration, or the doctrine of the new birth. This Nicodemus, it appears, was a great man, a ruler of the Jews, and yet knew not his own heart, and to govern the inward man; seeing he was a stranger to that grace which alone could enable him to do this, what induced him to repair to the Saviour by night we are not told, and therefore the conjectures of men relative to this affair are vain, neither is it at all needful for us to know.

In discoursing from the words which I have selected for our consideration at this time, I shall, 1st, shew what is intended by being born again. 2dly, state the necessity of this change passing upon all men in order to salvation. 3dly, set forth the surprize which many express at this

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doctrine being urged upon them, and then conclude with some improvement.

I purpose then, in the first place, to consider what is intended by the new birth. To be born again, my brethren, is not merely to be baptised, as many foolishly imagine, as though the outward rite of sprinkling could purify the heart and cleanse the conscience from the defiling nature of sin, this is to confound the sign with the thing signified, as if there was no distinction. between the form of godliness and the power, neither does the new birth consist in a set of opinions, however just, in entertaining certain ideas upon the subject, however scriptural, in forming notions, however correct and orthodox. There are many who imbibe just sentiments upon this important subject, there are numbers who can argue well upon this fundamental point of Christianity, who have embraced the true sense of this doctrine in their heads, but, alas! their hearts are unaffected, their lives unchanged. How awful is it to have the mind enlightened, the judgment informed, the conscience awakened, and yet the disposition unaltered; the inclination to sin as great as ever, and the practice of it persisted in as much How severe will be the judgments of heaven upon such as know their master's will, but do it not; how heavy will be the wrath of God upon those who have knowledge without

as ever.

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