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wearied exercise of purity, of patience, of selfdenial, of disinterestedness, of all those heavenly tempers and affections, which shone so illustriously in Christ, and distinguish and adorn his true people on earth.

If such be not the nature of your Godliness, think not to experience an interest in the promise. Some of you, perhaps, who assume the profession of religion, complain that you have been deceived in the expectations which you have been induced to form; that you find not in the ways of Godliness, that happiness which you had hoped to find. But let me inquire, Is not the cause of this disappointment in yourselves? Are you not seeking to enjoy the privileges, while you neglect the duties of religion? Are not you careless in improving the means of grace? Are not you remiss in private prayer? Is not your conduct inconsistent with your professions? In the pursuit and the employment of worldly things, do not you too nearly resemble the openly irreligious and ungodly? If this be the case, cease to wonder, cease to complain, that you are strangers to the comforts of religion. Would you taste these comforts, arise and trim your lamps. Cast off your sloth and negligence. Deny and mortify your worldly spirit. Let your conversation be as be

cometh the Gospel of Christ. Thus shall you partake of the consolations of the Gospel. Thus practically choosing the Lord for your Portion, you shall find him, both in the life that now is, as well as in that which is to come, your exceeding great Reward.

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Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

THERE is in the human mind a strong propensity to indulge in unprofitable speculation: while in nothing men more clearly betray this propensity, than in their presumptuous attempts to penetrate into those mysteries, which the Divine Wisdom has thought fit to veil in obscurity. Such criminal curiosity the Scriptures in the most decided manner discourage and reprove. They teach us, that our true interest,' no less than our duty, consists, not in prying into things which are purposely hidden from our eyes, but in con

verting to a proper use and a practical improvement, those truths, which the Almighty has been pleased to disclose. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed, belong unto us, and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law*.

The text, when viewed in connection with the circumstances which introduced it, illustrates these remarks. As our Saviour was going through the cities and villages teaching, a certain person proposed to him a question, respecting the number of those, who should finally be admitted to heaven: Lord are there few that be saved? Jesus, who saw what was in man, knew that this question was the dictate of a vain and curious mind. He therefore made no direct reply. Desirous however of correcting the spirit which suggested the inquiry, as also of improving the opportunity for the benefit, not only of the person concerned, but of all who were standing around, he audibly delivered this striking and solemn admonition: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able. "Sup(" press all idle speculations on subjects, from "which no profit can be derived: subjects,

* Deut, xxix. 29.

"in which you possess no real interest. In“stead of indulging a foolish curiosity with respect to the final condition of others, make


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your own calling and election sure. Whe "ther the number of those, who shall even"tually be saved, be great or small, see that you yourselves are included in that num"ber. Let this be your grand, your primary "concern. For the attainment of this end "let all diligence be exercised; let every "nerve be strained. The salvation of the "soul is a work, the accomplishment of "which is opposed by formidable diffi"culties, and must be effected by incessant "labour. Hither then let your most strenu"ous efforts be directed. Remit not your ex"ertions; lest you should ultimately be disappointed of your hope; and should be "found among that numerous company, "who, notwithstanding their desires and en"deavours after heaven, will be finally ex"cluded from it."

Such was the occasion and the substance of this aweful admonition. But the admonition is not less seasonable now, than it was then. The instruction conveyed in it, is not less important, less necessary to us, than it was to the persons, to whom it was originally addressed. Equally formidable are the difficulties, which still obstruct the entrance into heaven.

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