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Sr. MATTHEW vii. 21.
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
AFTER our Saviour, Jesus Christ, had told the people, who came to hear him, that all things whatsoever they would that others should do to them, they also should do to others, he thus goes on: Enter ye in at the straight gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to de. struction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Our
Saviour tells us in these words, that the kingdom of Heaven is like a great and noble palace, that the gate to it is extremely narrow, and the way difficult and easily missed, while the gate to hell and destruction is wide, the way broad, and easily found : that few go through the first to Heaven, while many go through the last to hell. Such a saying as this ought to make us all very serious. It ought to make us ask our souls, whether we are in the way which leadeth unto everlasting life, or in the way which leadeth unto everlasting destruction. We see around us many wicked persons : many, who have no care about their souls, who do a great many bad things, and who can expect nothing else but to go to hell when they die. They never think about death and judgment: they never think that they are to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, and to be judged there about all the things done by them in the body, whether good or bad: that they, who have
done good, will go into life everlasting, and they, who have done evil, into everlasting fire. They care not about a Sa. viour: they care not about his telling them to repent and come 'unto him: they make a mockery of church, of things serious, of the Bible, and of sermons: they laugh at those who live serious and good lives. They have no thought of God or of Heaven. Poor, unhappy, lost creatures! They will find, when it is too late, that they are in the way to everlasting destruction. May God Almighty have mercy on them, and give them repentance before they die. Now these are the many who go in through the wide gate, who pursue the wide road that leadeth to destruction. Let me beg and persuade you, my friends, not to go along with them : follow not this multitude to do sin. Rather endeavour to be amongst the few, the happy few, who make for the straight gate and narrow way, which leadeth unto life. And if you ask me how you shall find this road, I will
tell you. You must pray to God through Jesus Christ, that he would open your eyes, so as that you may see your lost and miserable state, and 'may repent of all the sins in thought, word, and deed, of which you have been ever guilty. You must pray to him, that you may have faith in Jesus Christ, may know, that through bim alone you can be saved. You must pray to him to give you a new heart, new desires, and new tempers. You must pray to him to keep you from all sin and wickedness. And you must try, in humble dependence on him, to lead holy lives, to be blameless and harmless, humble, contented, and quiet. And you must set so good an ex. ample, that others may see it and follow it, and go in with you through the gate that leadeth to Heaven.
- Beware of false prophets, says our Saviour, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree can. not bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. I suppose you all understand what this means. A good tree will bring forth good fruit: a good heart will, with God's grace, bring forth a good life: a Christian faith will produce, with God's grace, a Christian practice. I say with God's grace: for as the best trees require the rain, and dew, and sunshine from Heaven to bring forth; fruit, so none of us can do the thiņg which is good, unless God's Holy Spirit wbich comes down from Heaven, help us to do it. You will, therefore, be able to know a good Christian by his works. If you see bim holy, hamble, kind-hearted and good, he shews bimself a Christian indeed : if you see him slothful, insolent, quarrelsome, dranken, wanton, he shews that Christ is not in him, but that the devil has posses