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are among the unfaithful hearers of the word! Wal, suppose it be so, as with wast multitudes it is so; is your present duty, and your first interest? Fiya the wings of faith to the Saviour. Exercise presa acts of faith in him. Regard his great, and full, and free salvation. Cast yourself, guilty and vile as ye truly judge yourself to be, on his ample merits; and i may be in the very exercise of faith you may discover, not only that he that believeth shall be saved, but, the you do really believe, and are among the saved. You may receive from that blessed Saviour, the large gift o the Holy Ghost, and so may be filled with love, an joy, and peace, and break through all the trammels sin and Satan, and triumph over the world, and live here to the praise and glory of God, and the good o man, and finally join the spirits of just men made pe fect above, to inherit with them the full enjoyment a their praises, and their participation of the divine glory through eternity.
Address to different Classes, exhorting them to attend to this Duty.
THOUGH the danger of neglecting the word be s great, and the blessed result of attending to it so unspeakably important, yet, as we have already inti mated, it is an appalling fact, that the great mass professing Christians in a Christian land do neglect
sear, or hear very irregularly. We would close then nis Treatise, by earnestly beseeching all such persons, of whatever condition, or in whatever class of life they nay be, to lay to heart the duty which it is the design of this Treatise to recommend and enforce.
Are you IN EMINENT AND LEADING SITUATIONS-Rulers and Governors, Statesmen and Legislators, Barristers and Physicians, whose employment is of such magnitude, and whose avocations are so numerous, and engagements so unremitting, that it appears to you that there is a reasonable excuse for your absence? of all other classes, the load of responsibility falls heaviest on you. You stand upon an elevation so commanding, your influence is so extensive, and your personal piety so indispensable, that, without it, all your means and power, instead of a comprehensive benefit, may become a wide-wasting mischief. You are equally dependent with the poorest and the meanest of your fellow-creatures, as to your everlasting salvation, on the use of the means which God has appointed. You are bound by the very knowledge which exalts you above others, to be aware of this. You will be under an aggravated condemnation, if, professing yourselves to be wise, you act the part of the greatest folly, and misuse all the distinguished talents with which you are intrusted. Your situation gives you peculiar advantages for attaining and diffusing heavenly wisdom. How tremendous your responsibility if you use these advantages for increasing and extending that wisdom which is earthly, sensual, and devilish! Do you speak of the impossibility of sparing time? You only shew your earthly mind. It is impossible only because of the superior importance which you attach to earthly
things. The time taken from religion is net ? the time given to it is not lost. How many in occur of men in high stations so overwhelming selves with work, and so neglectful of hearing the we and misemploying the sabbath, and thence so desi of the comfort of that word, that in an hour of depre! sion, despondency prevails, and they destroy the selves! Such instances are beacons to all in e station, not to violate God's appointed ordinances, be ever occupied, even if the violation had only an inje ous influence on the present life. The Christian feel far higher motives: and such men as Sir Matth Hale, and the late Mr. Hey of Leeds, shew how it possible, even amid other multifarious and importa engagements, to find time for hearing the word. In fac there have been men faithfully discharging the duties religion in all those precise situations of lawful employ ment which worldly men allege as a sufficient excus for neglect.
Are you IN EXTENSIVE BUSINESS, in the mids of large mercantile transactions, and extending you schemes and plans on every side, either at home e abroad? O, without the divine blessing, what good
Cecil's remerks, in his sermon on Jer. xxiii, 28, 29, on men's preferring their own notions and dreams to simple Evangelical truth, are striking-" It pleases God to appoint the preaching of the Gospel in a neighbourhood; that is, he opens a spring life in a dry and barren place. But one man cannot attend, though he lives in the neighbourhood, and why? he leans to his imaginations: he has dreamed! he is a Socinian, and cannot bear the doctrines taught in the Church of England. Another is a philosopher truly! he has turned his thoughts to the reason and fitness of things, and cannot attend to the plain and simple preaching of God's word, which calls him to lay down all imagi nations and reasonings, and be taught by his great parent, what is that religion which is acceptable to himself."
ou derive from worldly prosperity? You may wealth; but even now your wills are perpetualiy ed, and care and anxiety rob you of repose; dis
will soon follow-death is at hand-and what will e end, when your soul shall be required of you ? you ask, What shall I do? moderate your earthly res; restrain your ambitious projects; attend to ething higher, and more really profitable-your itual, your eternal good; make it your main conn to fear God and keep his commandments; here your first business and true bliss. Do you call is folly and enthusiasm? Hearken, men of mere siness! you are enthusiasts? you are extravagant ; ou are imprudent; your schemes are trifling; your peculations fanciful and delusive! No, you reply; e lay our plans wisely and cautiously; we have long xperience; they are sure to succeed. Be it so. chem succeed, still the charge is true: your great business is overlooked; your chief interest is neglected; your main chance is still in hazard: you are wise for a day, but are you not fools for endless days? you gain a child's rattle; you lose an angel's inheritance; you escape far enough from an earthly bankruptcy; you are plunging headlong to a bankruptcy which will ruin you for ever. Do I exceed? no, the figures fall short, infinitely short, of the tremendous reality. Listen, O listen to the infallible word of God-Heaven and earth shall pass away; but that word shall not pass away!
Are you PARENTS? And will you neglect this word? will. 1.you set your children a pattern of disobedience to the best of Parents, our Heavenly Father? How can you ask them to obey you, when you wilfully disobey Him! You wish for the good of your children; you desire to make them happy, and possibly, in order
Our SOULS ARE RIPENING FOR THE GLORY TO COME. Not merely temporal benefits, but a preparation for eternal, is connected with a due regard to Christ's word. Our Lord asserts, He that heareth my words, and believeth in me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life. This is the road in which the saints that now fill the heavenly mansions once walked on earth. They heard, and listened to, and loved the truth of God. They tasted its sweetness, they experienced its power, they lived under its influence. St. Peter says, Desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation. 1 Pet. ii, 2. Would attain the glory above? tread in the steps of saints below, and thus be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Reader! it is true excellence, and the way to true glory, to discern the vanity of all knowledge separate from that which makes wise unto salvation, and to yield and submit ourselves wholly to the guidance of divine truth. Those saved by the Gospel are freely pardoned, justified, and accepted of God, sanctified by his Holy Spirit, and made meet to be partakers of the heavenly inheritance. They are adopted into the family of their divine Parent, made heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. To be delivered from the wrath of God, the power of Satan, and the misery of hell; to be changed, renewed, and purified by the Holy Ghost; to be translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son; and even now to have the sure hope of everlasting life-these are some foretastes
The best manuscripts add, es swingear. See Griesbach and