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of life, and that when death arrives, probation ceases. "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest." Hear what the most celebrated commentator of Europe, and the ablest statesman of Holland, uttered in his last moments; "I have wasted my life in doing nothing!" Such are the reflections of a dying hour! Such the regrets when time is hastening to a close! May we exert our powers to the utmost while life is spared! May we look up to heaven for direction and support, and say with the with the pious Psalmist of Israel, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory."

66

Amen.

SERMON IV.

THE

IMMUTABILITY

OF THE

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. HEBREWS Xii. 28.

Ir is remarkable, that as the doctrines of christianity are delivered in different ways, and sanctioned by various methods, that they may be rendered clear and comprehensive to every understanding, so the precepts of the gospel are, in like manner, placed in different points of view; strengthened by different principles, and enforced by different motives, in order to strike the various dispositions of mankind. One is quick of apprehension; another, slow to understand; one must be struck in a moment; another must

take time to examine, to consider, and to weigh; threatenings must be employed for some, while others will be allured by promises. Thus do we find the variety in our moral principles considered, and our general improvement increased, by the very mode in which the gospel was delivered.

In the chapter from which the text is taken, the apostle had been discussing the most solemn subject; comparing and contrasting the privileges of the gospel with the terrors of the law; enforcing it with the most awful warnings to those who should reject the offered grace. "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for, if they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now he hath promised, saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made; that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." But he cannot close his address, without adverting to practice; and he introduces his exhortation by an appeal, which must apply to all who had embraced christianity. "Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have

grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear."

I shall divide what I have to offer upon this subject into two general heads.

I. What are the premises laid down by the Apostle?

II. What is the practical inference to be drawn from them?

I. What are the premises laid down by the Apostle? A wise builder will always lay a good foundation; and, in like manner, a well drawn argument will be the result of certain premises; those here laid down are two-fold.

1. The expression in the text, " receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved," certainly implies that every other kingdom is changeable. Look back through the long vista of ages which history presents, and can you doubt the truth of the assertion? Where are the proud Assyrian, the rich Persian, the learned Grecian, and the far more extended Roman empires? All are dissolved. History presents their image in glowing colours; and, as the scenery passes before our eyes, we trace their shadows, but the picture gradually fades, and at last finally disappears. Babylon, the famed capital of Assyria,-the very spot,

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where once it stood, is unknown! And of the various arts, which once adorned the cities of Greece and Rome, how few are the specimens which the hand of time hath spared! But is it only the ancient kingdoms on which mutability is written? Do not modern times present instances equally striking? Call to mind the revolutions which have taken place even in the memories of most of those I am addressing; and you must be struck with the force of the remark. You may commit to the flames the best formed maps which have existed twenty years; they are useless. The colours of red, and green, and yellow, which once served to mark the boundaries of the respective kingdoms, are now thrown into a confused mass; the different islands, scattered through the vast ocean, and which, in a well-ordered map, bore the colours of the parent state, are no longer thus distinguished, and the eye can no more trace the connexion. But the words of the text may be supposed to apply chiefly to Judaism. Had we contemplated the Jewish economy merely as neutral spectators, we should doubtless have supposed, from the preparations for its appearance, from the grandeur of its introduction, from the extent of its influence, from the number and magnitude of its ceremonies, and from the importance of its priesthood, that it was

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