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“ King say unto them on his left hand; depart, ye « cursed.” Why, we were not profligate, we never oppressed any—“I was an hungred, and ye gave me no

meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and

ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye “ visited me not.” “Lord, when saw we thee an

hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, “ or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?” “ Veri“ ly, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one “ of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not to me." 6


II. Some " are at ease in Zion" from INFIDEL PRE

If there be any truth in the Scriptures, the dispositions of the generality of mankind are very unsuitable to their state, and their destiny. When we see them amused with trifles; when we view them sleeping securely; when we hear them singing, devoid of all concern, we are ready to ask, is this a prison? Are these sons of mirth, the sons of death? Are these. men under sentence of condemnation, and waiting only the hour of execution ? Such is the testimony of this book. " For the wrath of God is revealed from “ heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness 66 of men.”

“ Upon the wicked God shall rain down “ fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest; this “ shall be the portion of their cup.'

" He that beliey. “eth not, is condemned already.” Why then are they not alarmed? They do not believe. Were they persuaded of “the terror of the Lord,” it would be impossible for them to live in a state of apathy and indifference. Could they believe that “God resisteth “ the proud,” and be easy in their pride ? Could they

“ They

believe that he “ abhorreth the covetous," and be easy in their covetousness ? No; did you really believe the truth of God, and were you fully convinced that all the threatenings he has denounced in his word will be infallibly accomplished ; "the joints of your loins

would be loosed, and your knees would smite one « against another.” If you had the faith “ of a Noah," it would “move" you “ with fear," and lead you to “ build an ark.” If you had only the faith of a devil, you would “tremble ;” but you have not even this. Thus the sacred writers have reasoned before us. “Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God ? He hath 66 said in his heart, God will not requite it." “ have believed the Lord, and said, it is not He, nei. “ther shall evil come upon us, neither shall we see “sword or famine.” “ Because sentence against an evil “ work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of ss the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Be. cause the gallows is not in sight when the judge pronounces the sentence, they conclude upon their security~" where is the promise of his coming ? all " things continue as they were from the beginning of $6 the creation." “One generation passeth away, and 4 another cometh; but the earth abideth forever.” But after all, what is this ease which flows from infidel persuasion ? First, it is obtained with difficulty. For before a man, who designs to get rest in this way, can sit down safe and undisturbed, he has to prove that the Scripture is a falsehood; he has to reason down every species of evidence; he has to bring his mind to believe the strangest improbabilities, and the grossest contradictions ; he has to explain how weak men could deliver the sublimest wisdom, or wicked men could be the most ardent lovers of virtue, the most zealous promoters of holiness ; he has to demonstrate that those persons who took nothing on trust, and who made every kind of proof their study, were all deceiv. ed where they professed themselves to be most certain ; he has to persuade himself that he is wiser than the wisest of mankind; and though his vanity would much aid the latter conviction, yet surely, taking the whole together, it can be no inconsiderable task.

Secondly, it is partial, and liable to interruption. For there can be no perfect satisfaction, without per: fect certainty; now this, it is impossible to acquire. In spite of all his endeavours to extirpate them, some remains of truth will occasionally vex him. There is an internal witness, whose voice will sometimes be heard; when conscience cannot govern, it can censure; when it has not power enough to satisfy, it is able to torment. Sleeping convictions will sometimes be awakened, and fresh endeavours will be needful to lull them again to repose. Though they are not always "in bondage to fear ;" they are, as the apostle re. marks,“ subject to it:" and a faithful reproof, or an alarming sermon; an accident, or a disease ; a sudden death, or an opening grave; and a thousand other things, may revive their alarm, and make them dread a futurity at which they have laboured to laugh. In these cases their grand resource is diversión ; and they rush into company, and amusements, in order to erase the im.

pression; but who can always be engaged? who can - always avoid thought? But, thirdly, the less liable it

is to be disturbed, the more awful; for it is penal; it

shews, that God has suffered them to wander very remote from the truth they deemed their enemy, and to penetrate far into the darkness they loved. Here is something more insensible than “ a spirit of slumber.” It is questioned whether it be possible for any man to be really an atheist; but is there any thing too bad for a man to fall into, when abandoned of God? And is there nothing that can provoke God to withdraw his assistance from the sinner? Is He compelled to accompany him when he says depart from me, “ for I desire not the knowledge of thy ways ?" Is He unjust, because he does not force the inclinations of a man ; but allows him in compliance with his own wishes to go alone? If there be an atheist, we should not search for him in the heathen world, but among those " who are at ease in Zion."

“ For this people's “ heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hear. “ing, and their eyes they have closed ; lest at any “ time they should see with their eyes, and hear with * their ears, and should understand with their heart, s and should be converted, and I should heal them." They received not the love of the truth, that they

might be saved; and for this cause, God shall send " them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie ; " that they all might be damned who believed not the “ truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Hence, Fourthly, this ease is fatal; its duration is momenta. ry; it must end, and end in anguish and despair. The denial of any thing does not falsify it. If a man has swallowed poison, his adopting an opinion that it cannot kill him, contributes nothing to his safety ; and it is awful to stand and see his conviction and his death arriving together. Your denying a resurrection, will not hide you forever in the grave. Your disbelieving a day of retribution, will not keep you from appearing before God.

“ Their judgment,” says the apostle, “now of a long time lingereth not, and their dam“ nation slumbereth not,” while they reason, it rolls on; every argument brings it one distance nearer; the confutation set off before the infidel began the book, and it may arrive before he has finished it. Noah preached to the inhabitants of the old world ; they derided him, and pursued their business and their plea. sures ; but “the flood came, and took them all away." When Lot warned “his sons-in-law, he seemed unto « them as one that mocked," but the cities were destroyed. Various things prophesied of the Jews, at a time when there was no human probability of their occurrence,' were minutely accomplished. Babylon seemed secure; its walls were impregnable. Its provisions defied a siege ; hence her confidence : “ for « thou hast trusted in thy wickedness; thou hast said “ in thine heart, I am, and there is none else beside “me; therefore shall evil come upon thee, thou shalt 6 not know from whence it riseth : and mischief shalt “ fall upon thee, thou shalt not be able to put it off : and “ desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou. “shalt not know.” And it was taken and destroyed in one night. .“ The Scriptures cannot be broken;" therefore thus it will be with all the threatenings of heaven : and “ when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as “travail upon a woman with child ; and they shall not ff escape.” Nor will they only be condemned pot.

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