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those with fools who sought first the kingdom of God and his righteousness? Will not the enemies of God rather envy than blame your singularity at the day of judgment? Will it be any gratification in hell, to reflect that you came there by not being singular; that you followed the customs and maxims of great and ungodly men, and will have them for your companions for ever? Will you destroy your soul for company's sake? Is it not dreadful to think, that you are bartering away that invaluable jewel, for the short-lived applause of your fellow sinners? Like the rulers who believed on him, but were afraid to confess him, lest they should be turned out of the synagogue, because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. O think of the worth of your precious soul! What should it profit you, if you should gain the whole world, and lose your own soul? Beloved, seek not the praise of men. Dare to be singularly good. Regard not the opinion of half-hearted professors. In a very little time, it will be of small importance to you whether the world hated or loved you. Ask yourselves

what does the word of God say, and then stand to that, against all the expedients, accommodations, and worldly schemes of men. And this is his word: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him: the friendship of the world is enmity with God.” Do what you may to reconcile them, God and the world will never coalesce: balls, and theatres, and card parties, are utterly irreconcileable with a healthy state of mind, and communion with God. To be one day in God's house, and another in the theatre; one time drinking the cup of salvation, and another the cup of the drunkard; this evening filling your mouth with the praises of Christ, and to-morrow singing to the praises of Cupid; now associating with the saints, then walking with, and as, the ungodly; is but the life of many professors. The circle of their conduct forms the face of a barometer; on its dial-plate are engraved, in legible characters, on one side, “for God,” on the other, “for the world;" the hand that points to these characters is covetousness, and the mercury

that moves it is temporal interest. If this moving principle change the position of this hand to God, God they follow; if to the world, the world they follow: but its daily position is between both. Do not therefore listen for a moment to the ensnaring plea of many, that you will injure the cause by your exactness; that if you will concede a little you may win the ungodly; or that by union with such a person you may save their souls from death. By going half way to meet them, they may take you a long distance on their road; but not one inch of your path will they tread, till they are made willing in the day of God's power. Be decided for God, and they will admire your consistency, while they hate you. Use all scriptural methods for their conversion; but diverge not from the straight path of duty, whatever be your temptations, or threatenings, or persecutions, knowing that“ if we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but, if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” Have that faith, my

cross

brethren, which overcomes the world. Live but in heaven, and you may defy it, as the three children did Nebuchadnezzar: “We are not careful to answer thee in this matter; but if it be so,” if we are to lose thy favour, and the good word of all the world, “we know that our God is able to beliver us.” You chose him, beloved, as your single inheritance. You entered Christ's service upon these conditions: “If any man will be my disciple, let him take up

his daily, and follow me.” Study not then to rid yourself of that cross. Let it be your glory. Be not ashamed of him. Be not ashamed of his words. Be not ashamed of the testimony of the Lord. Put shame on sin, but never let it be appended to the Saviour's perfect righteousness and blessed society. “Put on therefore,” every morning you rise, and wear every day you live, “the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. For I heard a voice from heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, that

ye be not partakers of her plagues.”

M

4. COMMENCE ACQUAINTANCE WITH GOD NOW, BECAUSE NOW HE INVITES YOU TO HIS ACQUAINTANCE.

Methinks I hear your thoughts: Well, if I could but be assured that God would welcome me, and had actually given me an invitation, then I could approach him without fear; but no one knows

my

sinfulness. O how my guilt rises

up
before

my

mind. Can God receive such an unworthy creature as I am into his friendship? You may well wonder at such love; but you shall see that all the unwillingness to divine communion is on your part, not

Are you a backslider, who has departed from his ways in heart, if not in life, and sinned both against knowledge and love? Well: he would heal the breach this day. He stretches out the hand of friendship to you, and in accents of love and fidelity says, “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God, for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn unto the Lord; say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, so will we render the calves of our

on his.

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