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affections set on things above; your life hid with Christ in God? If this be so, then all is well. No change is wanting: for you have passed from death unto life. But if the case be otherwise; if you are hostile to these things; nay, if you are unconcerned about them; to you the Scriptures speak a language plain and unequivocal: “Except ye be converted, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." It is in vain to explain away such pointed declarations; to turn a deaf ear to such tremendous warnings; or to get rid of them by saying, "Have these things been revealed to any of the wise and prudent? Have any of the rulers, or of the Pharisees, believed in them?" In answer to this, we can only make our steady appeal to the law, and to the testimony. Examine for yourselves. Search the Scriptures, and see whether salvation is promised there to those that live as the generality of Christians live; to any who do not, in heart and mind, come out, and separate themselves, from a sinful world. We can only present these truths to those that hear, and pray for those that will not hear; beseeching all, in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God; and intreating Him, that He will, of His infinite mercy, call in every wandering sheep, and "so fetch them home to His flock, that they may

be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold, under one Shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord."

There is, to sum up the whole matter, a belief of Christianity, which only increases the condemnation of those that believe: because they admit, as true, a revelation of God's goodness, which ought to bind the strongest cords of gratitude around their hearts; and, still, resist its powerful and endearing motives. Even obstinate infidelity, that dark offspring of hell, is a degree less sinful, than such a belief as this. But there is a faith, by which the heart believeth unto righteousness, and which all may have, who seek for it in prayer. This faith cannot be unfruitful: for it opens to the view scenes and objects, which must, in the very nature of things, interest, attract, and animate, all the master affections of the soul.

Such a faith discovers to us, first of all, that religion is present happiness; not the appearance, but the reality of the thing. And this happiness, we now perceive, not to depend on outward distinctions. A man may be prosperous, and be without it: he may be visited with much affliction, and possess it for the happiness of religion, lies deeper than the ruffled surface of life. It is peace in the centre of the heart; a deep reliance upon God, in the calm recesses of the inward man. It

is a joy, so sweet, and so serene; so soothing to the mind, and so consolatory to the heart; so fitted to allay and satisfy the thirstings of the immortal soul; in a word, so unlike the happiness of this world, that we feel instinctively, that it descends from a purer source; that it is of celestial origin; that it is a beam of the uncreated light; a drop from the eternal fountain; an efflux and emanation from the God of glory.

Faith discovers, also, to us, though still afar off, the promised land. It practically impresses upon the mind, that there is another, and a better world; where there are things prepared by God, for them that love him, such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man to conceive. And all this is brought home, with the power and energy of actual and living truth: so that, henceforth, our treasures are laid up in brighter scenes; and, in the midst of sorrows, we can, by faith, pierce the lowering clouds above us, and see our city of refuge in the heavens. Under the loss of pious friends, we can rejoice in the sober certainty, of soon following them to the land of everlasting life. And, when the cup of happiness is at the fullest here, we need have no misgivings that our joys will soon be over: for the Christtian's most delightful hours, are when he feeds upon imperishable food; and when his present

pleasures are of such a nature as to form their own bright evidence within the soul, that they are the earnest of a joyful resurrection, the seed of a glorious immortality.

Lastly, and above all, faith reveals to the soul, that "God is love;" that he is reconciled to all that approach him through the appointed Mediator:-that he is reconciled to us worms of the dust, in ourselves, guilty and undone. Let this faith be yours (and it is freely offered to you all who seek for it in the paths of duty and of prayer): let this faith be yours, and your warfare is accomplished, your iniquity is pardoned. You have, henceforth, only to leave your sins and miseries behind, and to run, with patience, but still rejoicing, the race that is set before you.



GENESIS, iii. 4.


INDEPENDENTLY of our deep concern in the transaction, there is something unspeakably affecting in the temptation and fall of our first parents. They were, at first, created upright, innocent, and happy. Nature, fresh from God's all-forming hand, had thrown her treasures, in rich profusion, at their feet. Every tree that is pleasant to the sight, or good for food, sprung up, spontaneously, before them: the tree of life in the midst of the garden, as the sacramental pledge of immortality; the tree of knowledge also, as the security of God's favour, on terms so easy and so gracious. All the inferior animals, tractable and gentle, paid to man instinctive homage. No cares or anxieties disturbed the peace which reigned in paradise. The image of God was stamped on every lineament of the human soul. No passion swayed our first parents' bosom, save that for each other, they felt pure and cordial love;—a love which yielded only to the first and great

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