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a measure of political expediency. But is there, we ask, a possibility of the like emergency occurring to hinder the execution of the divine laws? Tell us, has God any thing to dread from the resentment of friends, or the violence of party feelings, when he signs the death-warrant of a convicted offender? Surely not. His power is infinite. Yes, and were millions upon millions of sinners throughout the universe to combine, and present themselves, in haughty and menacing array, before his throne, demanding the forgiveness of some brother culprit, he would only laugh at their puny insolence, and reiterate with tenfold sternness and vehemence, his mandate, “ Let justice have its course."

But we need pursue this subject no farther at present. Enough, it may be presumed, has been said to convince you all, that in respect to the extension of pardon to condemned criminals, no analogy can be conceived to subsist betweeu human governments and the divine government.

A further, and, we think, a decided objection to the doctrine of universal salvation, arises from its injurious tendency as a practical principle. What possible good, we should like to know, can result to men as individual or social beings, from this doctrine? Is it calculated to render them better, or worse? Will it, in any way, promote the cause of virtue, or contribute to the advancement of piety? Who can expect, that those who hope ultimately to enjoy the favour of the supreme Being, no matter what may be their character and conduct on earth, will be likely to abandon the pursuits of sin, and lead an upright, a temperate and a devout life? Is it not much more probablemuch more consonant with the usual order of things—that men, relieved from the apprehension of endless wo, as the consequence of their transgressions, will give themselves up to the dominion of their passions,

determined not to forego present indulgence on account of some years of future misery? And is it not an undeniable fact, that the believers-yes, and with few exceptions, the preachers—of universal salvation, generally exhibit a tenour of deportment little conformable to the precepts and the spirit of the New Testament? They act out their principles, and dreading no punishment hereafter, or, at any rate, punishment, which compared to a succeeding eternity of bliss, does not deserve the name, they are prepared to assume, as the polar star of their eartbly career, the Epicurean maxim, “Let us live while we live.” No sensible man, not absolutely lost to virtue, would wish his wife, his daughter, or his son to be an universalist.

We close our argument with one more brief remark. Of the two doctrines—that which asserts, and that which denies, the eternity of future punishment-one must necessarily be erroneous.

The schemes are directly opposed, and, of course, both cannot be true. Allow us, then, to put the question, Which of these opinions is the safer one? To believe in the perpetuity of future suffering, even should the tenet be unfounded, can be attended, so far as we see, with no disastrous consequences. But to believe in universal salvation, and, on this ground, neglect the means of securing an interest in Christ, may undo the human soul for ever!

Brethren, we must not leave you to-day, without distinctly reminding you, that it is far from being enough to have a theoretical conviction of the truth on which we have now insisted. We know not, that any of you are speculative universalists. But we may be sure, that some of you are practical universalists. You may not profess to think, that all men eventually shall be saved. But you live as if you thought so. Permit us, then, to urge upon your consciences, the solemn declaration of our Lord in this text. He here affirms, in language the clearest and most express, that every individual who believes not on the Son of God, shall be wretched throughout eternity. On such an individual the wrath of Jehovah must abide. Each moral agent in this congregation who dies in impenitence and unbelief, must bid, not only a long, but a final adieu to peace and happiness. How powerful the motive which hence arises to a virtuous and pious life! Some, we are aware, pretend, that a religion which seeks to impel men to duty, by menaces of endless wo, makes too broad and direct an appeal to the selfishness of human nature. But a similar objection lies, in all its force, against a religious system which should seek to allure men to duty simply by promises of imperishable felicity. The fact is, that the dread of evil, and the desire of good, are virtually the same principle. Nor is there any impropriety in appealing to this principle, when we attempt to enforce the requisitions of the gospel. The apostle Paul, “knowing the terrors of the Lord," endeavoured to “persuade men.” And what he did, let no succeeding preacher of the cross hesitate to do. We pray you, therefore, dear hearers, to flee from the wrath to come, by believing, and that without delay, on the Son of God. O! neglect not this golden opportunity of escape from eternal misery. You are now invited to secure an interest in Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of sinners. Accept the invitation, and you shall be happy for ever. Reject the invitation, and you shall not see life, but the wrath of God must abide upon you. Such is the fearful alternative. We here leave you to your choice. The responsibility is your own. Whatever may be the result, the justice of Jehovah is clear, and every virtuous intelligence in the universe shall approve his sentence.

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“But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not

be taken away from her."

The occasion which led to the utterance of these words on the part of our divine Lord—for they are his may be briefly stated.--As he was going about doing good, he arrived at a place not very distant from Jerusalem. This was the village of Bethany, about two miles east of the sacred city, in which Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazarus, resided. From what is to be gathered out of the New Testament respecting this interesting family, it has been conjectured, that Martha was a widow, with whom her brother and sister, both unmarried, lived. An intimacy and a mutual attachment seems to have subsisted between the Saviour and them, and he was more than once their visitant and guest. In the instance now before us, a circumstance occurred, developing the respective characters of the two sisters. Jesus appears to have commenced, soon after entering the house, an address to those who were present-for numbers always followed his footsteps-on the momentous things pertaining to the kingdom of God. It was his uniform practice, we know, to speak a word in season, as often as the opportunity was afforded, to all who were disposed to become his auditors. Mary, it would seem, took a seat near to him, and listened with profound attention, to the instructive lessons that emanated from his lips. In the mean time Martha was deeply immersed in household duties, striving to evince her respect and affection for the Messiah, by exhibiting a sumptuous meal for his entertainment. Thus busily employed, her mind was distracted with a variety of cares, and she could not help betraying the peculiar weakness incident, in such an emergency, even to the gentlest female nature. Although in the presence of her Redeemer, she was unable to preserve that equanimity which is so frequently lost amid the multiplicity of domestic concerns. Chagrined that Mary sat at ease, and did not contribute to lighten her burden, she had so little self-command, as to disregard every dictate of propriety, and prefer a pitiful complaint about the matter to their distinguished Friend. “ Lord,” said she, “dost thou not care, that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her, therefore, that she help me." This peevish and highly unbecoming remark drew from Jesus a reproof which Martha herself, in a cooler interval, must have been conscious was deserved. We are told by the sacred historian, that he answering " said unto her, Martha, Martha" —this repetition of the name rendered the rebuke which it prefaced still more pointed—thou art careful and troubled about many things.” Then follows the text: “ But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.”

The reader of this passage, who follows only his own common sense in ascertaining its import—and a better guide is seldom to be had-imagines, that he fully understands its scope and design. He conceives, that Jesus here represents religion—the care of the soul-as the one thing needful, and further teaches, that this thing, or, in other words, the blessings which it confers, shall not be taken away from those who make it their deliberate and constant choice. But-wonderful to relate there are

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