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the tabret, and wine, and pipe, are in his feasts,” may exercise his wit on “the flames of hell,”– the “fire that is not quenched;"—but in the sad and solitary chamber, when he can no longer “ taste what he eats and what he drinks,” no longer “chant to the sound of the viol,” his trembling heart will tell him, that Omnipotence can want no means to make the sinner feel,—to make him feel enduring indignation, though there should be no “ worm that dieth not” — no “fire that is not quenched.”
Brethren, of every class ! you, as well as I, believe these things,-for we are rational creatures, -and we are Christians.-We believe that “ the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,” though neither you can apprehend, nor I can explain, in what mode that wrath will be executed. “ The hour cometh,” when we must all -high and low-die and perish together :-May the hour never come, when we shall lift up our eyes, being in torment !--“ The hour cometh,” when we must all, whether clothed in purple and breathing perfume, or wrapt in
and offensive with sores,-drop into the grave, and rot :May the hour never come, when with agony of
spirit we shall see the mansions of the blessed far, far removed from our reach, and the gates of hell, - whatever that hell may be, - the caverns of misery and despair, --close in upon us for ever!
“Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”—So said, and so did, the apostles of old; and, if faithful to our trust, as the ministers of Him who came " to seek and to save that which was lost," we must also, without ceasing, persuade, intreat, and solemnly warn, our partners in frailty and in danger, “ to flee from the wrath to come.”
For my part, wherever chance may but particularly here, where Providence has placed me as a watchman to sound the alarm, I think it incumbent upon me,“ to put you in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth : yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up, by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle."--The greater part of my life has been spent in religious investigation; and after the fullest inquiry which my abilities have enabled me to make, for the space of fifty
years, the evidences of Christianity appear to me irresistible: For I avow myself a believer, not so much by education, as from reflection and research. The more I contemplate the laws and operations of the natural world, the physical constitution and intellectual faculties of man, and the whole economy of this mighty system, the more strongly am I impressed with the conviction that there is an invisible and allpowerful, though incomprehensible Agent, the supreme LORD, and moral GOVERNOR of the uni
The more I study and examine the sacred volume, the more decidedly does my understanding pronounce, the more deeply does my heart feel, that it is a dispensation from
I have listened to the chief objections of scepticism, and find them but “ sounding brass, and tinkling cymbals.” Every argument of the least weight, that is urged against the religion of the Gospel, may be brought to bear, with equal force, against the religion of Nature; and he who is destitute of natural religion is destitute of a sound mind. Atheism is as much a derangement of intellect, as any morbid affection of the brain.
But it is not the poisoned dart, thrown by
an open enemy, that hath done us this dishonour,” that has thinned the ranks, and retarded the triumph, of the Christian cause; the most dangerous wounds revelation has received have been inflicted by her weak, or time-serving champions. The absurd conceits and degrading doctrines, which ignorance or bigotry have interwoven with Christianity, have disgusted “ them that are without,” and given birth to a more rooted and stubborn infidelity than all the hostile attacks of avowed enmity. Let Religion be seen as she is :-withdraw the veil that conceals her native simplicity and beauty, and every sober and ingenuous mind will welcome, embrace, and obey her.
My advanced age, (threescore and fifteen years,) far beyond the common period of human life, decaying powers of body, and perhaps diminution of mental energy, admonish me that my time on earth cannot be long. Then let me faithfully employ the little that remains in the service of that heavenly Master, who hath called me into his vineyard. However incompetent my abilities, and insignificant my testimony, let me lose no occasion, whether public or private, of bearing witness to the truth.
suaded myself, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is “ the power of God unto salvation,” shall I not every where, and at all seasons, earnestly strive to impress on others the obligations of that “perfect law of liberty ?" Neither dismayed by the frowns, nor allured by the smiles of the world, let me continually exert the slender
possess, to remove the obstructions which may hinder its reception; to rouse the sluggish, support the feeble, and confirm the wavering in the faith of the Son of God ;-a faith which can alone enable us to overcome the world, subdue the evil propensities of our degenerate nature, and bring comfort, and peace, and hope, in sorrow, in suffering, and in death. “ A dispensation of the Gospel is committed to me,"—then“ woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.” And woe to him who hears it not; for “ he that despiseth” the preaching of the Cross, DESPISETH NOT MAN, BUT GOD."
GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,
St. John's Square.