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of persons who, in this world, appear to be religious, and are, on that account, despised by others.

Most men easily believe, that others despise those who are despised by themselves; and that they are deservedly objects of contempt, and can hardly believe, therefore, that they are entitled to the favour of God. Yet this is true of every really religious man; and every such man is found among those who appear to be religious. However contemned, then, such persons may be, and however hated such persons are in the present world, they will be remembered by God in the day when he maketh up his jewels, and he will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Fourthly, Of this number also will be found those, whose acknowledged characters and opinions have, in many respects, been different from ours.

Difference in religious opinions is extremely apt to alienate men from each other, and to generate uncharitableness, censure, hatred, and obloquy. Ardent and rash men, on the ground of this difference, at times pronounce each other to be heretics, and deny to each other the character of Christians. Especially, when open debates have arisen, and the spirit of controversy has become warm; when the theme of contention has become public, and the doctrines in question have acquired peculiar importance from the zeal with which they have been disputed, we are prone to forget the question of St. Paul, "Who art "thou, that judgest another man's servant ?" The dislike of Luther and his followers to those who denied his favourite doctrine of consubstantiation, was little less than to the Romanists; and his censures of them were scarcely less severe. The same feelings, and the same conduct, produced by similar causes, have been predicable of men in every Christian age and country. Multitudes of persons, who have been guilty of this unchristian conduct, will hereafter see the very objects of their hatred and obloquy heirs of the everlasting favour of God. It is true, that many of those who have been guilty of this censoriousness, afterwards regret it, as Luther did, in the decline of life. With others, there is reason to fear, it descends to the grave, and enters eternity. These will probably find,


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that while the opinions, of which they judged so hardly, do not prevent the objects of their severity from being admitted into heaven, themselves will be precluded by their own antichristian dispositions. Happily for us, "it is a small thing to be "judged by man's judgment." Happily for us, Christ alone can finally condemn.

In the same manner, different churches and sects are prone to regard each other with alienation and animosity; and to speak of each other in the language of enemies, and not of Christians. Those which are numerous always feel strong in their numbers; and, constituting the tribunals which confer reputation and stamp disgrace, become assured that they, and those who think with them, are founded on truth, and that salvation is encircled by their own pale. The smaller, humbler, and less reputable sects of Christians they place, of course, without the limits of the Gospel, and the reach of divine favour. In both respects they will be greatly disappointed in the great day of account. No questions will be asked by Him, who is no respecter of persons, concerning the name which an individual has borne in this world, or concerning the church or the sect to which he belonged. He who worketh righteousness in this world, will, in the world to come, be accepted by whatever title he may have been distinguished here. The conventicle or the barn will probably send many of its worshippers to heaven; while, by the splendid church, many outside devotees will be yielded up to shame, and everlasting contempt.

On the other hand, small sects exercise exactly the same spirit towards those which are larger, and, in the eye of the world, more honourable. Under its influence they adopt the same hostile conduct, and are equally uncharitable, censorious, and bitter. But hereafter they will see, and undoubtedly will be astonished to see, in very many instances, those who have been members of established, and, as they are pleased to style them, formal and state churches, sitting down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and themselves thrust out.

When we look at the sect or church of which ourselves are members, we are but too ready to cry, "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are


"these." When we look at those which differ from us, especially if they are in any respect seriously opposed to us, we are but too ready to consider them as the synagogue of Satan. We ought to remember, that the name, the church, the sect is nothing, and that the heart is all. A purified mind, in a purified body, renewed after the image of God in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness of truth, is the only real temple of the Holy Ghost below the sun; the habitation in which this divine guest loves to dwell here, and in which beyond the grave he will dwell for ever.




LUKE XIII. 28-30.

"There shall be weeping and gnasking of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

"And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

"And behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last."

In the former part of this discourse, after explaining the import of the text, I derived from it the following doctrines :

I. That some of the human race will be shut out from the kingdom of God, who have confidently expected admission. II. That others whom they expected to see shut out will be received.

III. That the distress occasioned by this disappointment will be very great.

The two first of these doctrines I considered at that time. Under the former I observed, that in the number of those who will be thus excluded from the divine kingdom will be,

First, All who leave the world relying on their own righteousness for acceptance with God.

This comprehensive description, I observed, includes such as confide in the external services of religion, superstitious persons, enthusiasts, persons who trust in a decent and amiable behaviour, and persons who build their hopes upon what are called the moral duties of life.

Secondly, I mentioned those who rely upon what may be called a religious character; such, for example, as those of communicants, or ministers, as destined to the same unhappy


Thirdly, Those who believe themselves to be religious, because others suppose them to be of this character.

Fourthly, Those who place their religion in the knowledge, and not in the obedience, of divine truth.

Fifthly, Those who place their reliance on their zeal. And, Sixthly, Those who place their hope in a faith which is without works.

II. Of the persons whom these expected to see shut out, and who will nevertheless be accepted, I observed,

First, There will be a multitude of such as, in this world, have lived in humble and despised circumstances.

Secondly, Of those who have here been our own friends, companions, and equals.

Thirdly, Of those who, in this world, appear to be religious, and are, on that account, despised by others. And, Fourthly, Of those whose acknowledged character and opinions have, in many respects, been different from ours.

I shall now proceed to finish the discourse, and, according to the plan proposed, observe,

III. That the distress occasioned by this disappointment will be very great.

Weeping and gnashing of teeth are glowing images of ex

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