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the Son of God, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation." Let then the righteous rejoice, for heaven, with all its joys, is just at hand! Let the sinner tremble, for hell, with all its sorrows, is not far off! Another moment, and the Christian may be in paradise with God and his angels! Another moment, and the Christless soul may be in tophet, with devils and damned spirits ! Awake, one! awake, all! for eternity is nigh, even at the door, and the night cometh, when no man can work! Let no one trifle with matters of such high import! The Bible is true, and all its declarations may assuredly be depended upon. The argument for the inspiration of the sacred volume drawn from prophecy, is only one amongst many, but is of itself convincing; and the man who is an unbeliever, in view of the evidence drawn from this source, would not believe though one rose from the dead. Permit me, also, to guard you against infidelity. As this is a day of abounding iniquity; as intemperance, profane swearing, Sabbathbreaking, gambling, and other kindred vices, are, alas! too common in our midst, we may expect infidelity, at least in some of its forms, to keep pace with these things, for, as one well remarks, “Infidelity is a disease of the heart,
not of the head." Let the morals be corrupt, and the sentiments will soon become loose. Let the heart be infected with vice, and infidelity will forthwith spring up, like green scum upon the surface of a foul and stagnant pool. Beware of infidelity! It wars against reason and common sense, against God and the best interests of man. Beware of infidelity! It teaches that man is not responsible to his Maker for his actions, however atrocious they may be, and that in the end, it will be as well with the gambler and the pirate as with the man of virtue and religion. Beware of infidelity! It curses the body, and curses the soul; it curses you in time, and it will curse you through all eternity. Beware of infidelity! It will poison the stream of public morals, and public happiness: it will rob you of your dearest hopes and sweetest comforts: it will rob you of the favour of God; will hang around your dying bed the curtains of gloom and despair. It will lay your body in an unblest grave, and your soul “in the urn of everlasting death!" I have heard the saying, “Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war;" but he who encourages infidelity, in a more fearful sense cries “havoc !" and lets slip, not the dogs of war, but the spirits of Pandemonium, and the demons of the pit! Young man, listen to me: I repeat once more what I have said before—your Christian
mother is right—the Bible is true! and if you die without the repentance which it enjoins, and the Saviour which it reveals, mark my word, in the great day of judgment you will wish you had never been born!
NATURE, SINFULNESS, AND CONSEQUENCES OF UNBELIEF.
He that believeth not, shall be damned.-MARK xvi. 16. This is one of the most awful declarations found in all the sacred volume: and it assumes a character of peculiar interest and solemnity, when we recollect, 1. By whom this declaration was originally made; and 2. The circumstances in which it was made.
By whom was this declaration originally made? It was not by an enemy, but by a Friend—the sinner's best Friend-even the loving tender-hearted Saviour himself. Yes, it is none other than the blessed Jesus, who died for sinners, and before whose judgment-seat we must all one day appear, who said, “He that believeth not, shall be damned.” And when did he utter this awful language? In the most interesting circumstances which can well be imagined. It was in his last interview
with his disciples. He had died on the cross; he had risen from the tomb, and he was now just about to ascend to heaven. His disciples are around him, and there is the cloud, like a chariot, hovering over him, and angels waiting to attend him to his home in the sky. In these peculiarly interesting circumstances, our great Redeemer gave his parting charge : “Go, my disciples, into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved”— here we have the overtures of mercy for those who accept of the way of salvation proposed in the gospel—“but he that believeth not, shall be damned.” Here we have solemnly announced the certain doom of those who reject it. Remember, these are among the very last words which fell from the lips of our blessed Saviour, when on earth, and they may well be depended upon; for who can suppose that He, whose love for our race was stronger than death, would use language unnecessarily harsh? or who can for a moment suppose that our Saviour would utter vain words, especially in circumstances of such peculiar interest and solemnity. No, my friends, the declaration in our text may not be lightly regarded : it presents a truth of tremendous import, and must stand for ever—“He that believeth not, shall
The nature, the sinfulness, and the consequences of unbelief, will now engage our attention.
And First. The nature of unbelief. And here we need not enlarge. Unbelief is the opposite of faith. Now, as faith is giving credence to the testimony of God in general, having special reference to the mediatorial character of Christ, as the world's last and only hope, unbelief is the rejection of that testimony. And this may be either speculative or practical-speculative, as when a man looks upon Christianity as a farce, and the Bible as a cunningly devised fable. Unbelievers of this class are certainly embraced in the anathema of the text, “he that believeth not, shall be damned.” But unbelief may also be practical, as when a person professes to believe that the Bible is the word of God, and yet is not influenced by the Bible; or, as when a man admits that Christ is a Saviour, and yet receives him not as such; admits that Christ is the only Saviour, and yet treats him as if he were no Saviour at all. In this case, the understanding assents, but the will rebels; the head is right, but the heart is wrong.
There is no want of evidence, but a lack of disposition. In both cases the unbelief is substantially the same. Christ is rejected; and as without him there is no Saviour, the condem