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spring. Besides, this is the season of danger : the passions are strong and violent : the excesses are frequent and dangerous : experience has not yet cooled the desires, or taught them, that poison is mingled in the cup of gratification : now the blood boils in the veins at the call of ambition, and the heart beats high at the voice of glory : now danger surrounds us in a thousand shapes, and the spoiler is ever ready for his

prey. Do you trust in the health which you enjoy, and in the power of your constitution ? Consider the enemy with whom you

have to combat. The best established health is but a spark which the blast of death can in a moment extinguish. One day of distress can lay the strongest body low in the dust.

What is human life? Is there any thing in the present scene so certain and so satisfactory, as to give you any encouragement ? Or do the changes which perpetually take place, the silent revolution of years, and the gradual decay of nature, lead your thoughts to that drcary land of desolation whither every thing scems fast hastening. Years appear long, when far from us : when arrived, they slip away and disappear in an instant : when pas

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sed, they are as a vision of the night, or as a tale which has been told. Let us look behind

Is the world the same that we have seen it in former days ? No : every thing is altered ; those who once occupied the principal stations in society, are gone to another land, and have left their places to successours : men formerly unknown are exalted into view, and now attract the attention of the world. Even within our own narrow sphere, everything wears an aspect different from what it once did. The friends of our youth are passed into the region of forgetfulness, or are for ever separated from us by their connections in life. The tender buds of hope, which we reared with so fond an hand, are nipped by the killing frost of disappointment. Those projects and schemes, which we formerly pursued with pleasure, are now laid aside. New ideas

prevail ; new occupations engage our attention ; new passions rouse us to action. world is gradually springing up, and the old is gradually sinking into ruins. Year follows year with unceasing change. The fashion of all things passeth away.

One generation goeth, and another cometh. Our fathers left the stage to-day, and we shall leave it to-mor

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row. Nothing is at rest. Every thing changes, decays, and perishes. God, alone, remains the same. This fleeting scene passes before his eyes, and he beholds, with pity and indignation, the infatuated children of men neglecting and insulting his present goodness and forbearance, and, at length, falling into the hands of his wrath and vengeance.

I shall now conclude with stating that inference, the truth of which it has been the great object of this discourse to establish namely, that, since the hour of death is uncertain, we ought to put no value on the things of this life, but prefer religion to every other concern, and set our affections on things above. By these means, alone, can we be in a state of constant preparation.

What folly must it be, my friends, to attach yourselves to what may not last for a single day, and to lose for it that good which never perisheth ! You should consider all the pains which you

upon the pursuits of this life as lost, because you are never sure that you will reap the fruit of your labour, But the rewards of religion admit of no uncertainty, and, in themselves, ought not once to be put in the balance with the greatest temporal enjoyment. All the kingdoms of this world, and the glories of mighty conquerors, are trifles light as air, when compared with the smallest possible happiness, the duration of which is eternal. Your eager pursuit of worldly objects cannot secure to you a long life ; but it will aggravate your sorrow and regret, when between you and them an impassable gulf is fixed. Let the great business of your lives, therefore, be to lay up treasure in heaven.Religion alone is worthy of your care.

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care. Nothing else deserves one anxious thought or desire. “ Secure this, and you have secured every

thing; lose this, and all is lost.”

102

SERMON V.

PART I.

On the atonement : its nature and the purposes

which are effected by it, in eralting the glory of God, and securing the happiness of man.

I Cor. CHAP. 1, VER. 18.

« For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God."

THE doctrine of the cross was to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but to you, my friends, I hope it is the wisdom and the power of God. The Jews had read the prophecies, which their own writings contained, concerning that great personage who was to come into the world ; they had studied the descriptions of the glory of the latter days ; and, in their minds high expectations were raised concerning the Redeemer of Israel. But they mistook the true nature and

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