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sabbath after sabbath, with the most faithful warnings, and the most affectionate invitations. I have bidden them tell you, (and I know that they have told you repeatedly,) how ready I am to receive, and forgive, and bless you; and now I ask, for which of all these works do you hate me? In such a case, what could you say for yourselves? In others, you might plead want of ability. You could not, for example, lead the public services of the church, because you have not the gifts and qualifications of a minister. You could not cure disorders, because you have not the skill and experience of a physician. But you cannot plead, that you have not the affection of love. There is some object that you all desire or delight in; and to be able to take pleasure in a creature, but to have no heart to love God, or feel affection for a Saviour; to rejoice in your houses and lands, and not to be able to love him whose favour is life, and whose loving kindness is better than life, will admit of no vindication. But this is not only a sin without
It is also a sin against many causes.
There is not only no reason for it, but there are a thousand reasons against it. Christ himself is the most perfect pattern and example of love, and has acted the most astonishing part to procure our salvation. “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though he was rich, (beyond all computation or conception,) yet, for our sakes, became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich.”
When, therefore, he, who was holy, harmless, and undefiled, loves guilty and polluted worms; when the Lord of glory fixes his regard on dust and ashes, and the Lord of life on souls that were dead in trespasses and sins, with hearts overflowing with gratitude and praise, we should surely love him who first loved us.
Not to love Christ, is the cause of many other sins. It is a most complicated and comprehensive iniquity; and is, in reality, the ground or root of all disobedience,
To conclude ; if you did but know yourselves, what you were originally, and to what you have since reduced yourselves by your pride and your folly; if you were acquainted with the law in its extent and severity, and with God in his holiness and justice; if you knew the Lord Jesus Christ in his grandeur and grace, what he was originally, and to what he submitted for your sakes; if you were sensible of his suitableness and sufficiency, and considered that he came to procure your love, as well as to testify his own ; if you believed and felt all this, you would need no persuasion to open your hearts to the merciful Saviour. You would admire and adore him, as the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person. You would receive him, and rely upon him, as the only name under heaven given among men, by which you could be saved. You would desire and rejoice in him, as the Lord your righteousness and strength ; renouncing all expectations from the world, all confidence in yourselves, and all agreement with sin and with sinners. You would determine to know and love nothing, in comparison with Jesus Christ, and him crucified. But let me ask you one question. You are conscious that you do not love the Lord Jesus Christ, and is it sincerely your grief, and do you
earnestly wish that it were otherwise? Instead then of wasting our time in fruitless arguments and ex. hortations, let us all join in humble and earnest supplications to the God of all grace, that he, who only can do it, would direct your hearts into the love of Christ; and that though you have been so many years lovers of the world, of pleasure, of your ownselves, and of sin, he would now transform you into the affectionate and devoted disciples of Jesus.
“ Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abun. dantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us; unto him be glory in the church, by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
O! that they were wise, that they understood this, that
they would consider their latter end. Ir when mankind quitted this world, they were never to appear in another, we should feel no alarm, or anxiety, on account of the careless conduct of sinners. We should let them eat, drink, and be merry; and not disturb them with gloomy and groundless apprehensions of futurity. But we know, that it is appointed to all men once to die, and that after death, there is a judgment; and we are assured, that all who are in the grave shall come forth ; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life ; and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. If, therefore, we were not connected, by blood or friendship, with those dying immortals, as I may call them, surely, common humanity would engage us to warn all within our reaeh, of the impend. ing destruction; and where we could do no more, we should sigh and say, “ O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end." These words express the tender and anxious concern of Moses for the welfare of the children of Israel. But, not willing to detain your attention, I shall now inquire, in what manner we should consider our latter end, and then show the wisdom and advantage of considering it aright.
First, in what manner should we consider our latter end?
A transient thought now and then about death is not sufficient; it should be considered thoroughly; I mean with judgment and understanding, so as to form just and regular apprehensions concerning its causes and consequences. You may contemplate a deathbed scene circumstantially. You may, in your imagination, attend a sick person through all the gloomy stages of the disorder, till you see the eyes glassy and fixed, the countenance sharpened, the head convulsed, the pulse, after many hesitations, stop, and the panting breast heave no more; and a total stiffness, or, I may say, a dead calm, succeed a scene of frightful tumult and distress. You may mingle in the fune. ral procession, and attend the mortal remains of your friend to the house appointed for all living. You may join in the solemn and very pertinent reflections, “ Man" that is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble ; he cometh forth like a flower, and is cụt down; he fleeth also like a shadow, and con. tinueth not. In the midst of life we are in death." You may then go home, and think no more of it, till another funeral revive the same solemn reflections. If this be considering our latter end, it is in a way very short of what is our duty. Those formalities of death are the least part of what is recommended to your consideration. If you would consider your latter end in a profitable manner, you must go back to the beginning, and inquire into the first cause of this