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cursing ; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
One more word, brethren, ere we conclude. In this discourse we have perhaps introduced into your minds the thoughts of death, that you might be prepared to meet him, whenever he should summon you.
We have endeavoured to rouse you from that luke-warmness so dangerous to the soul. God only knows, whether we have gained our object; but we pray so. Apply to your hearts, my brethren, all that has been said: apply it with prayer, for without it all our efforts are vain. “ Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, but it is God, that giveth the increase.” Prayer alone can procure the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Prayer alone can enable us to obtain salvation. Prayer alone can enable us to share in the victory gained over--death! Prayer, with our own exertions, can alone render us comparatively happy in this world, and eternally happy in the world to come.
1 Cor. xv. 34.
“ For some have not the knowledge of God: I speak
this to your shame.”
It is a truth, that there are not only some, in this Christian country, but many, who have not the knowledge of God. He to them, like unto the Jews, is a stumblingblock, as he was unto the Greeks foolish
But how miserable is the fact ! To think that in a land, to which long since have arrived the tidings of the Gospel, a land which is “ full of the goodness of the Lord," and his marvellous works, that
any should be found ignorant of his attributes, any insensible to the love, which he bears
to his creatures, and any disinclined to acknowledge the blessings, which he continually bestows, induces with the very thought the most melancholy reflections. Yet we fear, that this is the case with too many of us; we fear, that “the knowledge of God," instead of covering the earth as the waters cover the sea, is dried up upon an unfruitful soil, yielding no fruit, producing no works, meet for repentance.
It has been proved but very lately, that the labourers in the Lord's vineyard are very few, in comparison to the population of this fast increasing metropolis ; but at the same time it is generally allowed, that the preachers of the Gospel have considerably increased in energy and activity in the noble cause of leading, men to salvation. Whether the times have called forth this earnest zeal, or whether men have become more spiritualized and more influenced by the effect of the Gospel, we know not: but such is the fact; in these stirring times many now (God be thanked !) have come forth to uphold the sanctuary, to which they belong, with a determination to preach Jesus Christ, even him crucified, amid the perils and dangers, which come from a hostile and cruel world. quire no demonstration of this fact; even the careless listener to the Gospel must perceive, that this is the case; yet if we look through this land, can we affirm, with the same truth, that all men have made the same resolves ? Let the text be tried upon a Sabbath ; we have only to look but a very little way beyond our own homes, to see how this day, set apart by God himself to be kept holy, is desecrated and polluted, and that too by those, whose station in society and rank in life should cause them to be examples and patterns to their poorer. brethren. These men surely have not “the knowledge of God;" we speak it to their shame. But were we to look farther into the dens, with which this land is infested, what infamy and sin should we there find ! nor can this observation be omitted ; since a similar infamy formed the basis of that typical imagery, under which Ezekiel
pourtrayed the idolatrous defection of Judah and Israel. But we will not carry our thoughts so far; let us look to our ownselves. Have we, who attend this house, with all the outward appearance of sanctity, have we inwardly the knowledge of God ? By what touch-stone can we try ourselves, whether the knowledge of God influences our lives and conduct ? For as faith is known by its operative effects, so it is impossible, that any one can be gifted with the knowledge of God in the sense, which the Scriptures mean, who exemplifies not in his general conduct the practical correction and guidance, which are inseparable from that heaven-imparted knowledge ;it is like a tree, which will be known by its fruits.
But let us extend this subject further; let us examine what is implied by the possession of the knowledge of God.
“ The knowledge of God” is not simply an acquaintance with his attributes and the mercies, which he bears towards his people, but the influential action of this acquaintance on our lives. Here we enter not