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men are not to be moved by facts--testimony, although Divine, is not sufficient to convert the soul. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ?” if so be," then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” But man by his own strength cannot turn and help himself. The Holy Spirit is necessary. HE doth prevent him, co-operate with him, and, by his help, man works out his own salvation. Hence does all the glory turn unto God. Our actions, unless influenced by grace, are evil. We have no power to help ourselves ; but all our sufficiency is from God. Apart from God, man is weak and sinful. God's love is great; for he willeth not the death of a sinner, and verily sends his Holy Spirit to move us by various means to turn unto him. It is for us then, my brethren, to observe the operations of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts, that we may not grieve or quench his influences. It is for us to pray for a continuance of his spiritual gifts, that we may use them, and not by abusing them render our last state worse than our first. As all of us, then,
have the opportunity and means afforded by grace, and as this grace or favour from on high will be effectual to secure our salvation, if rightly used, let us, while we have the power, turn to the strong-holdto Jesus Christ to the Saviour of the world, who took upon him human flesh, that he might die to save sinners. God has promised to render double unto us-a crown of glory is the promise-one that shall never perish—eternal in the heavens of everlasting bliss! These are at the end of this solitary vale of woe and tears. O "ye prisoners of hope, even to-day, do I declare, that I will render double unto thee.” This is the voice of sacred Scripture—this is the promise of God—“turn you to the strong-hold” with faith, with humbleness, and with fear; and so shall
ye have your eternal and everlasting reward.
1 Cor. viii. 29.
“ But this I say, brethren, the time is short."
WISE, indeed, was that man, whose idea of human nature was so correct, as to compare life to a span. “Life,” said he, “ is but a span.” A few short and feverish years compose the existence of the longestlived amongst us; others, indeed, are cut off, like the untimely bud, ere they burst out into the expanding flower, or ripen into beauty, and all, at last, yield their spirits up into the hands of God, who gave them, as heirs of the apostate, who introduced the great destroyer into the world.
It is, indeed, a melancholy picture, when we contemplate the shortness of human life. The strong, the cunning, the boldall before God's eternal decree bow down in quiet submission to the yawning grave, as it throws itself open to receive them. Necessity compels us so to do, for man is born to die. When Adam disobeyed his Maker, death was the punishment inflicted upon him and his posterity; and to this command of heaven are we all, when our appointed time shall come, quietly and patiently to yield.
Let us at once divide our text into three divisions, before we make its necessary application. The time is short ; and so it is, first, with respect to the time we have to live ; secondly, it is short, when compared to eternity; and, lastly, it is short, when we consider the great work we have to accomplish.
Now, first, IT IS SHORT, WITH RESPECT TO THE TIME WE HAVE TO LIVE; but of that time we know nothing. We
We may drag on a few more years in this life, surrounded by all its pleasures, tempted by all its wiles, or pressed down by all its difficulties ; we may outlive those, who are near and dear to us in this world; and, in the enjoyment of all our earthly pleasures, we may arrive at that state, when the silver cord shall begin to slacken, and the bowl begin to break at the cistern, and the infirmities of old age come upon us, our sight failing us, our limbs trembling under us, our faculties and reason forsaking us, and nature herself giving way under the visitation. We may indeed live to that sad and melancholy hour; and what then is our life ?-it will have been but short. When we look back upon the few years we have passed, and forward at the few more we may have to live, shall we not be ready to cry out ?The time is short! To each of us it is short. The infant comes into the world, and in a short time arrives at boyhood, and then bursts into the perfect man. And what then ? Ere he comes to the last stage of human existence, like his fathers before him, he yields to the cold embrace of the tomb; or, it may be, he lingers on to his three score years and ten, or, perhaps, for a longer span, and then gradually sinks to his kindred earth.