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time, and what must be the emotions which agonize his affrighted spirit, when, guarded by the ministers of wrath, his ears are saluted by the wailing sounds which issue from the pit of wo, and his eyes open upon those fires which are for ever to girdle, and for ever to consume him! With what looks of horror must he gaze upon the dark and fiery scene; and while memory recals the repeated but fruitless efforts, which on earth were made to excite him to exertion,—the warnings, 'and entreaties, and remonstrances which vainly endeavoured to arouse him from his idleness,-oh! how bitterly must he curse, though he curses then in vain, bis own infatuation, and how ardently, though unavailingly, must he desire a participation in that happiness which once was pressed upon his acceptance, but from which he is now to be eternally excluded ! Brethren, if we shudder at the picture which imagination paints,—if we recoil from the contemplation of a spirit thus startled from its slumber, only by the voice which is pronouncing its own immortal condemnation-now, now, is the time to shake off all spiritual torpidity, and with the breathless eagerness of those who, of old, fled from their pursuing foes to the city of refuge, to speed our progress in preparation for the glory which is yet revealed. Would you be idle, if told, that by going tomorrow to a distant village, the gold would be poured into your treasury, and the broad lands added to your possessione? Would

you

be idle, if, when tossed upon the angry sea, you had the assurance that by a few hours exertion, you would save yourselves from a grave amid the waters ? Would you be idle, if, on returning from a lengthened pilgrimage you, knew, that another hour's march, and you would see your home, and be greeted by your kindred ? And when hell is now warning you to escape its fires, why rush on to be thereby shrivelled and consumed? When heaven, smiling in the bosom of eternity, is now wooing you to its peaceful shores, will you not arise from sleep, and be impelled to an

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effort—that you may wield its sceptre, and wave its palms,that you may join in its minstrelsy, and participate in its glories ?

We conclude, by pressing upon you the general exhortation of the text. We are desirous of convincing you of the reasonableness of so at all times acting, with a prospective reference to eternity, that the present world shall receive nothing more than its proper sbare of your affection. We may conceive the Saviour's supposition realized, of a man's gaining the whole world, and it were useless to deny, that in this universal proprietorship, be had gained much. He would acquire the power of appropriating to himself every thing which is best and most attractive in the workmanship of God. He would be king, not of a country, not of a continent, but of the world. His crown might sparkle with jewels of the purest lustre,-his palace might be paved with diamonds of the brightest hue,—the monarchs of the earth might wait at bis table, and the nobility of princes be menials in his halls. But, when you remember, that he has within him an imperishable spirit, which is here undergoing a course of preparation for eternity, you introduce into the picture a feature, which dashes the golden pyramid to the dust, and which leaves the gainer of the world a poor and beggared thing, in comparison with whom, the poorest member of the family of Jesus, is rich and honourable, and illustrious indeed. The soul is spiritual and undecaying. The world is material and perishing. We are deathless beings; and as no worldly advantages can cross the river which divides the living from the dead, who would be foolish and insane enough to choose the perishable, and to spurn the enduring,—to sail in the vessel which must go down amid the whirlpools of Jordan, in preference to the ark which will ride triumphantly to the ocean of eternity? Preserved in this world only, that we may prepare ourselves for the next, we have work to do which requires the summoning of all our energies; and the question which we have individually to decide is, whether it be more reasonable to be diligent in labouring for the rest of God, or in pursuing objects from which we may be soon torn, and which shall themselves be speedily consumed ? It were well, my friends, if we never allowed ourselves to forget the connection wbich our spiritual activity has with our eternal condition, and that we uniformly acted under the influence of the great truth, that in proportion to the measure of our diligence upon earth, will be the amount and the splendour of our rewards in heaven. And seeing, that apart from labouring after holiness, diligence in every other pursuit will terminate in our consignment to the heritage of the lost ;—that it will avail us not though we have been laborious in our secular vocations, and levied contributions to our present happiness from every quarter under heaven, unless, with all our might, we have followed after holiness, and that the only bridge on which we can securely cross the gulph between eternity and time, is that which the mighty Redeemer bimself has builded,—Oh! with what zeal ought each of us to be seeking the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, as the most radiant and the richest prize. Tell us, that labour, prudently directed, will be labour amply rewarded. Tell the man of literary ambition, of the honour wbich the scholar wins,—and night will be the season of toil, and the mind will be tasked, till the body becomes exhausted, that the envied wreath may decorate bis brow. Tell the mercantile speculator how money and property may be plentifully acquired,--and instantly will be throw his whole soul into the endeavour of making the money and the property his own. And if we are told, that the inheritance of glory is to be gained only by those who are diligent in preparation for its enjoyment; that holiness is the only key which can unlock the doors of the celestial mansions, and that, if destitute of this holiness, misery, the most intolerable, will be our everlasting portion, is it not

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the duty which reason recommende, that in comparison with the excellency of holiness, we should count all things but poor and paltry and insignificant indeed ? Labour, therefore, that you may enter into the rest of God, and give diligence to make your calling and election sure ; for if

ye

do these things, ye shall never fail, for so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of your

Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. By patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality, and then, when your course is finished, you shall find, in the joys of your eternal home, a compensation more than adequate for all the toils and endurances of your pilgrim state.

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The light of nature, by its obscure forebodings, far from dispelling the gloom with which the shades of death environ us, only serves to augment our terrors. It points to the ravages of death as proof incontestible of our guilt, and of the just wrath of our Judge; and in the dismal approach of that awful messenger, reads our summons as criminals to eternal judgment. The light of hope arises to us, solely from the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which reveals to us the marvellous achievement of that Almighty Conqueror, who hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality clearly to light. His achievement is mysterious, as well as glorious. It is in righteous judgment that God has let loose the destroyer, Death, to ravage our guilty world, and by his just law has given him his terrible power! As the necessity for this awful dispensation has arisen from the nature, attributes, and government of Jehovah, insulted by man's rebellion, how shall that appointment be reversed, and this destroyer consigned to destruction ? Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered ? By redemption, God has ransomed the lawful captive, and claims back the

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