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not here consider such, as have totally SERM. discarded the testimony of the holy XII. scriptures, as reject the belief of our Lord's resurrection and the consequent assurance which it gives us of our own. I would speak only of those, who are Christians in profession and admit the truth of the gospel revelation. Now it cannot be dissembled, that, in spite of the testimonies which the holy scriptures yield, there are too many Christians in name, who pass their days as if they had no belief in the retribution of another life. And this practical unbelief, it is to be feared, is most prevalent among those, who are more highly favoured with the good things of Providence, and from whom a better return might in gratitude be looked for. Thus the Rich man acknowledged, that he had left five brethren, who were pursuing the same course of life which had been so fatal to himself. And the reason is, that the God of this world, the Mammon of unrighteousness, has so much engrossed their hearts, that though they do not positively disbelieve, yet they cannot bear the truth. They are become so entangled with the cares of life, that the word of God is choked in



SERM. its growth, so as to bring no fruit to XII. perfection ".-What more can be done that God has not done, to fix in their hearts a conviction of the powers of the world to come? Do they wait for a Visitant from the other world to give them a more impressive warning of the opposite destinies of the righteous and the wicked? After God hath wrought such a series of miracles in testimony of this great truth what sinner can presume to look for a special miracle in his favour? And even were it granted to his unreasonable desire, what ground is there to imagine, that this would have effect, where the general testimonies of God have already failed?

What is here supposed in a parable was verified in real history. A greater than Moses and the Prophets appeared among the Jews with visions of grace and with miracles of mercy; yet they heard him not: he rose from the dead; yet they were not persuaded; they still rejected his testimony, and paid no credence to his word. What the Jews altogether denied we believe, or however we profess to believe, that the Son of

Luke viii. 14.


God descended from heaven to instruct SERM. and to save the world, that he was de- XII. livered for our offences and was raised again for our justification. But to what purpose do we honour him with our lips, if our heart is far from him; to what purpose do we confess him with our tongues, if we deny him in our practice? If we persevere in sin in defiance of the words and the works, the sufferings and the triumphs of this divine Visitant in human form, we have no room to look for any other Visitant from the spiritual world, to warn us of our danger and to stop us in our guilty course. If he that despised Moses and the Prophets died without mercy, what sorer punishment may not we incur, if we do despite to the Spirit of divine grace, if we contemptuously disregard the sacrifice of the Son of God, if we will not be persuaded, though he is risen from the dead?

• Rom, iv. 25.

Heb. x. 28,


P Mat. xv. 8.


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