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love! Nothing now need keep us from bliss! Divine love hath removed far off every obstacle-it has cleared the way for us all aroundlet us go forth unto the liberty of the glory of the Sons of God. Let sin no longer detain us in darkness and misery. What though it hath long reigned over us, and the hope of emancipation has almost forsaken us-What though the consciousness of guilt seem to forbid your approaches to the Kingdom of God: remember that Grace reigns there--it seeks new subjects, and the most unworthy are accepted. It bids us ask, and we shall receive; to seek, and we shall find; to knock, and it shall be opened to us.
Are there any here who are fellow citizens of the saints, and of the household of God, and have they need to be reminded that Grace reigns? What mean your idle fears? Give them to the wind. They are not pleasing to God, though they seem to arise from reverence for his laws. It is this unbelief, this measuring God by self, this keeping Christ and his Glory in the back ground, and letting self be prominent, that tends to breed confusion in the government of Grace. We conform most accurately to the regulations of God's Kingdom when we believe, and trust, and hope against hope, and rejoice with the joy of faith. Let us have a stronger apprehension of the freeness of God's Grace, and the little reason there is to doubt of our acceptance, and we shall
take more pleasure in the Lord: so the joy of the Lord shall be our strength.
Finally, being happy ourselves in the Kingdom of Grace, let us look abroad and try to make others so. Let us pray that the Savior may sway his sceptre over all the world-let us expect the day when sin's ancient empire shall be overturned, even in these realms, especially this land, the focus of heathenism, the citadel of sin, where it seems to have made its last stand, and from which it will be last of all expelled, if we may judge from appearances. But at last it must yield, for the decree is gone forth, that to the Son of God is given Dominion, and Glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him his Dominion is an everlasting Dominion which shall not pass away-and his Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Amen. May his Kingdom come! for worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive Riches, and Power, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Glory, and Honor, and Blessing.
LUKE xvi, 31.
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.
THE parable of the rich man and Lazarus contains one of the most solemn warnings to the gay and thoughtless, that is to be met with in any part of scripture. The descriptions it contains of the frightful end of a life spent in thoughtlessness and sin, are awfully calculated to rouse our attention, and force upon our minds the reality of an hereafter. Happy is it for the rich and great, who hear so seldom from their fellow creatures the voice of truth, that their Maker has given them such plain and faithful admonitions of their peculiar dangers. Our Lord from the beginning of the chapter, had been speaking of the use and abuse of wealth, and the impossibility of having the heart set at the same time upon God and the world: No servant can serve two masters. The Pharisees ridiculed him. After a mild
rebuke to them, he soon proceeds to confirm the whole of what he had been saying, by the parable: There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day; and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores.
Let us consider first, the different conditions of these men on earth. We are first introduced to a man of rank and fortune, living in the fashionable and expensive style of the day: stately mansions-superb clothing-splendid equipage-numerous attendants-sumptuous entertainments-courting friends, and flattering sycophants, were of course his portion and daily enjoyment. To many, in his day, he was an object of admiration and envy, and a better portion than his is sought by very few in any age. It appears that he was a young man, as he left a father and five brethren alive at the time of his death.
The poor man was as destitute as a human being could well be. He wanted the common necessaries of life. In addition to this, he was full of disease and sores; without medical aid to cure them, or even a friendly hand to bind them up; so that the dogs came and licked them. He was carried, because unable to walk; and as if no man cared what became of him, he was laid or cast at the rich man's gate, to gather a scanty and precarious subsistence from the crumbs which fell from his table. Thus, destitute of food, of health, of friends-an out
cast from society, he protracted a wretched existence till death relieved him from his sor
It will tend to reconcile us to the seeming inequality of the situations in which they were placed by providence, if we survey their still more different states in the invisible world. The rich man died, and was buried. The burial of the rich man only being mentioned, it was probably intended to be signified that his funeral was conducted with that magnificence which usually attends the burial of the great. The rich man died, and was buried, and in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments. Hell! does it not exist only in the fears of fanatics? Alas! we need not doubt; for here our Savior shews us one of our fellow creatures who found himself there: he closed his eyes in death, and when he opened them again he was in flames! Hear his piteous cry: Father Abraham have mercy upon me; I am tormented in this flame. What a change had ensued! To pass from the warm precincts of life to the cold chambers of the grave is appalling even in thought to human nature. But to exchange the soft pillows of ease for a bed of fire-the enjoyment of sumptuous banquets, for the want of even so much as a drop of water to afford a moment's ease-to find friends and acquaintances all gone, and himself left alone with infernal fiendswhat a transition for a votary of the world! no amusements, no employments, no rest, no hope, but irremediable agony and endless despair!